Policy + Advocacy
Essential Access Health advocates to protect and expand access to equitable and high quality sexual and reproductive health care for all. We believe that everyone should be able to get the essential services they need – with dignity and respect - regardless of where they live, who they love, where they are from, or their socio-economic, citizenship or health insurance status.
2022 Public Policy Victories
Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Essential Access Health (Essential Access) has been working with local, state, and national partners to expand and protect sexual and reproductive health care for all.
As a Steering Committee member of the California Future of Abortion Council, Essential Access worked with Council members to successfully advance a bold and robust legislative and budget package during the 2022 state legislative session to enhance access to comprehensive reproductive health care services for people in California and anyone seeking care in the state. The package signed by Governor Newsom includes new policies and investments to reduce cost barriers to abortion and birth control services, enhance legal and privacy protections for providers and patients, build the sexual and reproductive health care workforce, and help make obtaining care possible by providing support for transportation, lodging, and childcare.
Governor Newsom also signed SB 523 - the Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022. SB 523 (Leyva), sponsored by Essential Access, NHeLP, and NARAL Pro-Choice California, updates California’s contraceptive laws to be gender neutral and more inclusive of all gender identities, requires coverage of over-the-counter birth control options and vasectomy services without cost-sharing, expands contraceptive coverage benefits to millions of state employees and individuals enrolled in university or college health plans, and clearly prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees based on their contraceptive and reproductive health decisions. The measure takes effect on January 1, 2024.
Join us to protect and expand access to essential health services in California and beyond.