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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday signed a new law that will make abortions cheaper for people in private insurance plans.
The Abortion Accessibility Act (SB 245), put forward by state Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D), will eliminate out-of-pocket costs for abortion services.
"As states across the country attempt to move us backwards by restricting fundamental reproductive rights, California continues to protect and advance reproductive freedom for all," Newsom said in a press release. "With this legislation, we'll help ensure equitable, affordable access to abortion services so that out-of-pocket costs don't stand in the way of receiving care."
The new law prohibits health plans and insurers from imposing a co-pay, deductible or other cost-sharing requirements for abortion and abortion-related services. It will also restrict them from imposing utilization management practices on covered abortion and abortion-related services.
California is eliminating out-of-pocket costs for abortion services, ensuring cost is not a barrier to accessing care.
As states attempt to move us backwards by restricting fundamental reproductive rights, California continues to protect and advance reproductive freedom for all. pic.twitter.com/MGavA5l8Ir
- Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) March 23, 2022
California is one of six states that require health insurance plans to cover abortion services. However, out-of-pocket costs for patients can exceed a thousand dollars, the press release noted.
The move comes amid Supreme Court debate on overturning Reo v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that banned states from barring abortion.
The law also follows a controversial law in Texas passed last year that allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs, aids or abets an abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detected, usually after six weeks. The Texas Supreme Court earlier this month also ruled against the final challenge from abortion providers.
Oklahoma is one of the most recent states to take action against abortion, passing a bill that would amount to an almost total ban on abortions in the state if it becomes law.