Interactive Webinar for Reproductive Freedom, 3/27/18

Step Into Power for Reproductive Freedom 2018
ON MARCH 27TH over 60 advocates from across CA joined to TAKE ACTION FOR REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM

We’re at a critical moment for gender and reproductive freedom. On this interactive webinar, we learned about important 2018 legislative bills in California that will protect and advance reproductive freedom. 

This was a CALL FOR ACTION.  

#RFW2018

Reproductive Freedom Week 2018
Reproductive Freedom Week 2018 

In-person lobby visits • Statewide Interactive Advocacy Webinar

Reproductive Freedom Week (#RFW2018) is a statewide advocacy event, coordinated by California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF). #RFW2018 features advocacy training, in-district lobby visits, and other community-building events.

This year #RFW2018 will be conducting in-district lobby visits in 4 regions across the state: Central Valley, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland & one virtual statewide event to protect and advance reproductive freedom in California.

#RFW2018 is an opportunity to bring the issues HOME! At #RFW2018 you will meet with your legislator at the district office to talk about how important reproductive freedom is to your local community.

Sign-up for the Webinar here

CA Reproductive Health and Justice Leaders Take A STAND against Graham-Cassidy

Over 25 CA Reproductive Health and Justice Organizations Take a Stand to OPPOSE the Graham-Cassidy Bill  

California has made tremendous gains from the passage of the ACA, and now stands to have much to lose if the ACA is repealed. The Graham-Cassidy bill proposes to reverse the progress that California and the rest of the country has made on making health care coverage more affordable and accessible across the country.

The bill fundamentally threatens women’s reproductive health access to maternity care, contraception, family planning services, abortion care, and other basic health care services that the state has long championed.

Twenty-seven members of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom have signed on in strong opposition to the bill introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Dean Heller (Nev.), and Ron Johnson (Wis.) -Graham-Cassidy – to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), eliminate the current financing structure of Medicaid, and restrict access to essential reproductive health services. This bill is extremely similar, and in some ways worse than, the Senate’s failed Better Care Reconciliation Act. We urge you to denounce this bill, which strips coverage from millions, strikes a death blow to Medicaid as we know it, and fundamentally threatens access to maternity care, contraception, and abortion care for women across the state.

This bill is extremely similar, and in some ways worse than, the Senate’s failed Better Care Reconciliation Act. We urge the Senate to denounce this bill, which strips coverage from millions, strikes a death blow to Medicaid as we know it, and fundamentally threatens access to maternity care, contraception, and abortion care for women across the state.

The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom is a statewide alliance of nearly 40 organizations working to promote sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice. Rooted in 30 years of experience, CCRF coordinates policy advocacy efforts and information to deepen relationships with advocates and community members to benefit California’s diverse women, youth, transgender persons, and communities.

———————

September 25, 2017

To: The California Congressional Delegation

Re: OPPOSE – Graham-Cassidy Bill Threatens Reproductive Health Access and Jeopardizes California’s Gains in Expanding Coverage and Consumer Protections

The undersigned members of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom write to express our strong opposition to the bill introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Dean Heller (Nev.), and Ron Johnson (Wis.) (hereinafter “Graham-Cassidy) to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), eliminate the current financing structure of Medicaid, and restrict access to essential reproductive health services. This bill is extremely similar, and in some ways worse than, the Senate’s failed Better Care Reconciliation Act. We urge you to denounce this bill, which strips coverage from millions, strikes a death blow to Medicaid as we know it, and fundamentally threatens access to maternity care, contraception, and abortion care for women across the state.

The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom is a statewide alliance of nearly 40 organizations working to promote sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice. Rooted in 30 years of experience, CCRF coordinates policy advocacy efforts and information to deepen relationships with advocates and community members to benefit California’s diverse women, youth, transgender persons, and communities.

Thanks to the ACA, California has reduced its uninsured rate by more than half, from 17% to 7% — the biggest drop of any state in the nation. The ACA has also played a critical role in helping to slow the growth of health care costs, providing critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and ending policies and practices that discriminate against women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, as well as racial and ethnic minorities.

Similar to the previous repeal attempts, Graham-Cassidy would:

  • rip away health care coverage from millions of Californians;
  • result in a decrease of $28 billion per year from the California health system;
  • eliminate critical consumer protections;
  • defund Planned Parenthood and restrict reproductive health access; and
  • increase health care costs for everyone.

It is undeniable that of all states, California would be among the biggest losers under Graham-Cassidy. This is because the bill intentionally penalizes states that were successful in enrolling millions of people in Medicaid and in the marketplace. According to an Avalere study, California would experience a cumulative reduction of $78 billion in federal funding by 2026, $129 billion by 2027, and $800 billion by 2036. For the sake of our state’s financial stability and prosperity, we cannot let these drastic cuts come to pass.

 We urge you to reject and speak out against the Graham Cassidy bill, which among other things proposes to:

  • Impose devastating caps and cuts to Medi-Cal, undermining coverage for the 14.1 million women, children, older adults, people with disabilities, and others who rely on the program. Medi-Cal funds half of all births in California, and changes to the financial structuring of the program could result in devastating cuts in services or eligibility for vulnerable Medi-Cal populations, including pregnant women. Medi-Cal cuts could also put access to family planning services at risk. California currently offers a robust scope of family planning and related services under Medi-Cal and the Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment (PACT) program, thanks to the enhanced federal match rate of 90/10 for family planning care.  Eligibility and scope of services under Medi-Cal and Family PACT could be sharply reduced if the state loses federal funding. Lastly, the per capita cap proposed would force the state to shoulder the financial burden of public health crises, including those impacting Californians’ reproductive health, such as the Zika virus. Over time, Medi-Cal would cover fewer women and provide less comprehensive reproductive health services to those who remain enrolled.
  • Gut and then end Medi-Cal expansion, which has expanded Medi-Cal coverage to over four million Californians statewide and has directed an estimated $2.2 billion per year into the state’s health care safety net. Graham-Cassidy first weakens the program by permitting redeterminations for the Medicaid expansion population every six months, and then effectively eliminates the program altogether by reducing the federal match rate to 0% for any state that continues to cover Medicaid expansion enrollees past January 1, 2020. California would likely be unable to shoulder the full cost of continuing to cover our Medicaid expansion population.
  • Eliminate Medi-Cal funding to Planned Parenthood by prohibiting the organization from receiving federal funds through Medicaid for one year, starting on the date of the bill’s enactment. Planned Parenthood is a critical provider of basic health care services in California, serving an estimated 800,000 men and women at 115 health clinics throughout the state. 87% of the men and women who receive services at Planned Parenthood in California are Medi-Cal or Family PACT beneficiaries. Prohibiting Planned Parenthood from receiving federal Medicaid funding for providing health care services to Medi-Cal recipients in California would result in hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal patients no longer being able to receive services from their trusted provider of choice.  Federally qualified health centers have said that they do not have the capacity to absorb and provide care for Planned Parenthood’s patients.  In many parts of the state, particularly in rural areas and areas with large numbers of low-income patients, people would lose access to critical reproductive health services.
  • Impose draconian requirements on Medi-Cal enrollees, such as incentivizing states to re-determine eligibility for the Medicaid expansion population every six months, allowing states to implement Medicaid work requirements for most adult enrollees (including women who have recently given birth), and reducing Medicaid retroactive eligibility to two months for most enrollees.
  • Eliminate federal tax credits that help people afford health care. Nearly 7 million women and girls across the country selected a private insurance marketplace plan in 2016, and the majority of them relied on the ACA’s federal subsidies to help make coverage more affordable. The proposed reductions in federal tax credits would result in higher premiums and deductibles, and make it harder for women and girls across California to afford high-quality comprehensive health care that meets their needs.
  • Restrict access to abortion care by prohibiting individuals and small employers from using federal tax credits to purchase private health insurance plans that include abortion care. These provisions could cause insurance companies to stop offering plans that include abortion coverage altogether, thereby putting abortion access further out of reach for women in the private market. A restriction of this type also directly conflicts with California law, which requires nearly all private plans to cover abortion, and threatens to dramatically reduce the number of Californians who may use federal tax credits to help pay for health insurance coverage.
  • Eliminate the individual and employer mandates, which would exacerbate undermine California’s risk pool, raise premiums overall, and in the long run risk collapsing the individual marketplace entirely.
  • Allow states to waive coverage of the Essential Health Benefits requirements for plans in the individual and small group markets, which guarantee coverage for critical basic health services including maternity care, newborn care, and preventive services. Elimination of the Essential Health Benefits requirement would leave many women without adequate maternity care or force them to incur debt in order to obtain maternity care. It would also effectively allow plans to practice gender discrimination by requiring women to pay more for plans that do include maternity care.
  • Weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions by allowing states to modify or eliminate EHBs, and therefore permit them to offer less comprehensive plans that lack the specific services that people with pre-existing conditions need. The result would be an end run around the ACA’s prohibition on discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. Prior to this ACA protection, health plans routinely denied coverage or charged higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions, which included having had a cesarean section or previous pregnancy, having received medical treatment due to domestic violence or sexual assault, being a cancer survivor, or even being pregnant.

California has made tremendous gains from passage of the ACA, and now stands to have much to lose if the ACA is repealed. The Graham-Cassidy bill proposes to reverse the progress that California and the rest of the country has made on making health care coverage more affordable and accessible across the country. Moreover, the bill fundamentally threatens women’s reproductive health access to maternity care, contraception, family planning services, abortion care, and other basic health care services that the state has long championed.

For the above reasons, we strongly urge you to preserve the progress California has made in expanding health access and consumer protections, and oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Sincerely,

The following 27 Members of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom:  

ACCESS Women’s Health Justice

Rachel Coe, Public Policy & Trainings Director 

ACLU of Northern California

Phyllida Burlingame, Reproductive Justice Policy Director 

ACLU of Southern California

Melissa Goodman, Audrey Irmas Director, LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project

ACT for Women and Girls

Sarah K. Hutchinson, Policy Director

American Association of University Women – California

Nancy Mahr, Chair – Public Policy Committee

American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, District IX

Shannon Smith-Crowley, Director of Government Relations

American Nurses Association California

Phillip Bautista, President

Bay Area Communities for Health Education

Heidi Winig, Director

Black Women for Wellness

Janette Robinson Flint, Executive Director

California Latinas for Reproductive Justice

Myra Duran, Senior Policy Manager

California NOW

Jerilyn Stapleton, President

California Women’s Law Center

Amy Poyer, Senior Staff Attorney

Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at UC Berkeley Law

Jill E. Adams, Executive Director

Citizens for Choice of Nevada County

Elaine Sierra, Public Policy Director

Essential Access Health

Amy Moy, Vice President of Public Affairs 

 Forward Together

Kalpana Krishnamurthy, Policy Director 

Fresno Barrios Unidos

Socorro Santillan, Executive Director 

Ibis Reproductive Health

Caitlin Gerdts, PhD, MHS, Vice President for Research

If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

Mariko Miki, Director of Academic & Professional Programs 

Maternal and Child Health Access

Lynn Kersey, Executive Director 

NARAL Pro-Choice California

Amy Everitt, State Director

National Council of Jewish Women CA

Claire Lipschultz, State Policy Advocate

National Health Law Program

Susan Berke Fogel, Director, Reproductive Health

Physicians for Reproductive Health

Toni M. Bond Leonard, Director, Partnership for Abortion Provider Safety

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California

Gregory Cramer, Legislative Advocate

Positive Women’s Network – USA

Arneta Rogers, Policy and Advocacy Manager

TEACH (Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare)

Sara-Cate Jones, Program Coordinator

Opinion: Obamacare Repeal Would Decimate Social Safety Net for California Women

CCRF’s Executive Director, Juana Rosa Cavero, relates how California created one of the greatest social safety nets in the nation and how the ACA would have helped her and her family. 

Obamacare Repeal Would Decimate Social Safety Net for California Women

By Juana Rosa Cavero, Director, California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom

I was already racked with stress when the organization I had been working for shuttered. My husband was in his last year of graduate school, and I was suddenly unemployed. What was supposed to be exciting news of my first pregnancy abruptly became anxiety when faced suddenly with having very limited and costly health care insurance options.

This was my reality just a few months before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted, and I was hardly alone. Today the provisions of the ACA protect women in my situation to ensure that they are not cut off from health care insurance if they become unemployed, and that coverage will include basic health services including maternity and reproductive health care coverage.

What changed for me and millions of women with the ACA were provisions that expanded Medicaid to cover more low-income individuals (known as Medicaid Expansion); created health insurance marketplaces where individuals and families could shop for and purchase health coverage, in many cases with federal subsidies to help bring down the cost of premiums and cost-sharing; and provided protections for specific vulnerable groups such as young people, women, and people with preexisting conditions.

California lawmakers and agencies worked hard to make the ACA work for our state.  Because of their efforts to fully implement the ACA, California was able to reduce its uninsured rate by more than half, from 17 percent to 7 percent – the biggest drop of any state in the nation. Because of these efforts to provide broader access to high-quality, comprehensive health care, women now make up just over half (54 percent) of the 13.4 million Californians enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal.

Medi-Cal covers more than half of all births in the state as well as 83 percent of the state’s publicly funded family planning services. The expansion of Medi-Cal alone provided health care coverage to more than 1.8 million nonelderly adult women. In addition to insuring more people, the ACA has also provided more robust consumer protections against discrimination in health care – something women, communities of color, and LGBTQ people have long faced.  

Now with its so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) seemingly doomed in the Senate, Republican leadership is now vowing to repeal the ACA. We know that a viable replacement plan is unlikely. There are simply too many hard right conservatives in Congress who have stated over and over again that their goal is to “let the ACA fail,” and how better to accomplish that goal than repeal the ACA with no replacement, regardless of the very real on the ground impacts that such repeal would have for tens of millions of Americans?

Repeal of the ACA would disproportionally harm women in California and nationwide. The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF), which I lead, has urged our state’s congressional delegation to stand against any effort to gut Medicaid funding or repeal the ACA. The letter notes that if the ACA were repealed, more than 4 million Californians “stand to lose their health care coverage, the California health system would lose tens of billions of federal dollars, consumer protections would be eliminated, and everyone would see increased health care costs.” Moreover, according to the California Department of Health Care Services, by 2027, the state would lose $30.3 billion annually in federal funding. More than twenty state and national groups working to promote reproductive health and health care rights signed on to our CCRF letter.

California lawmakers in Congress must do everything they can to fight a reckless and callous repeal of the ACA. Access to quality health care is a right for all Californians, not a privilege merely enjoyed by the well-to-do. Politicians pushing or supporting these extreme attacks on Medicaid and the ACA must be called out for attacking the nation’s social safety net. My reproductive healthcare coverage and the coverage of tens of millions of other Californian women should never be a political pawn. I hope you can join me in making sure that our state’s Congressional delegation be front and center in protecting Medicaid and the ACA.

Juana Rosa Cavero, Director, California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom

Read our Letter Urging Our CA Congressional Delegation to Oppose Any Repeal here. 

 

California Takes a Stand: Over 25 Reproductive Health and Rights Advocates OPPOSE Any ACA Repeal

The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF) has delivered a direct message to the California Congressional Delegation to express our strong opposition to current federal efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will threaten reproductive health access and reverse the progress our state has made in expanding health coverage and consumer protections.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 13, 2017                                                    Contact: Juana Rosa Cavero, Executive Director, California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom 

California’s Statewide Coalition of Reproductive Freedom Advocates Oppose Affordable Care Act Repeal Efforts That Jeopardize Reproductive Health, Rights & Justice 

Los Angeles – The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF) has delivered a direct message to the California Congressional Delegation to express our strong opposition to current federal efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will threaten reproductive health access and reverse the progress our state has made in expanding health coverage and consumer protections.

Over 50% of California’s Medi-Cal recipients are women. Medi-Cal finances half of all births in the state, and over 80% of the state’s publicly funded family planning services. Current proposals to cut federal funding to Medicaid would jeopardize the health and financial security of millions of Californians, and over time would likely force the state to eliminate or curtail access to comprehensive reproductive health services.

In California, the nearly­ 4 million people enrolled in Medi-Cal Expansion would lose their coverage, and millions more would lose access to the protections afforded by the ACA that helped keep their health coverage costs low and ensured their access to critical health services.

Moreover, if we consider what communities will be most impacted, people of color represent 68% of Medi-Cal enrollees. The proposed federal cuts to the Medicaid program threaten the economic security of these Medi-Cal enrollees, and would further complicate already existing health disparities in critical areas such as maternal morbidity and mortality.

The reality for these families and to the state means a loss of comprehensive reproductive health care, such as maternity care, infant neo-natal care, family planning and abortion care. And as stated in CCRF’s letter to our Congress members, making prior pregnancies, cancer treatment and C-sections a pre-existing condition will further burden California families.

CCRF stands in solidarity with advocates across the state to protect health care and ensure that reproductive health and freedoms are not taken away from Californians.

For more information and links to resources to defend the ACA and reproductive freedom, visit our website here.

View letter ccrf_acarepealoppose_signon-final_logos

The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom is a statewide alliance of nearly 40 organizations reflecting a multitude of constituencies and approaches, including medical, legal, grassroots, faith-based, consumer advocacy, and community-based organization working to maximize policy impact in women’s health and reproductive rights.

Advocacy Materials to Defend the Affordable Care Act!!

ricardo-alves-208217Learn how the ACA Repeal will reduce and eliminate reproductive freedoms across the country. Here are resources to help you understand and oppose these attempts to repeal the ACA. 

It is clear that we need to sustain our advocacy and organizing efforts against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. CCRF’s Health Care Coverage Committee has collected several key resources to support reproductive freedom advocates! 

Timing is of the essence in terms of getting people out to town halls and rallies. The attempts to repeal the ACA are evolving daily. We need to stay ahead of these attacks while keeping out communities informed and engaged. 

Folks who are in California should also feel empowered to call senators in other states, particularly if they have a personal story around health care to share. 

Sure, Senator Heller in Nevada is probably more likely to listen to folks who call and say they are Nevadans, but if someone is calling to share their story about how Medicaid expansion helped them get onto coverage and get preventive services that detected cancer and allowed them to get treatment early on, for example, it’s not like the aide who picks up the phone is going to hang up on you.  Also, and perhaps more importantly, one way or another this bill is going to come back to the House, and we haven’t forgotten the ENTIRE CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN HOUSE DELEGATION that betrayed not just their constituents but ALL OF US back in May.

 Take Immediate Action 
  • July 4 Recess Toolkit to Protect Our Care from Families USA (although the recess is over, here are very useful messages and tactics) 
  • Resistance Near Me  to find resistance events in/near your zip code
Protecting Medi-Cal 

NHELP (National Health Law Program) is releasing a 12-part series on the importance of California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal. Here are first 6 issues:

Senate Bill Analysis (BCRA)
California:  
National: 

Rural Health

  • CNN published an article about the impact of BCRA on rural hospitals. The article links to a recent white paper by the Chartis Center for Rural Health.  

  • A Kaiser Family Foundation report finds that 38 counties in Nevada, Indiana, and Ohio are at risk of having no insurer in the marketplace in 2018.

The Impact of Any Type of Repeal

Repealing the ACA without a replacement continues to be under consideration, here are some resources that examine how such legislation could affect health care coverage in every state.

Reproductive Health 
Maternity Care

Maternity Care keeps staying on the chopping block. Here are the consequences of removing maternity care in California. 

Story collecting + Other resources
  • NHeLP is looking for stories from health consumers who had a positive experience with Medicaid to help us highlight its importance and protect the program from cuts. If you or someone you know would be willing to share their story with us, please send them to bit.ly/nhelpstory (English) or bit.ly/historiadesalud (Spanish).  NHELP has many more resources available – Full list here.
  • Set up a virtual phone bank in your own home. Organizing for Action will help get you set up, and even provide training! Sign up here to host a phone bank, big or small, it’s easy! Or sign up as a volunteer and be placed with a phone bank in your area.

If you have any questions about these materials, please contact Juana Rosa at jrcaveroatreproducitvefreedomcadotorg. 

February Membership Meeting – CCRF in Los Angeles

Our February membership meeting was held in Los Angeles (Burbank- actually) with over 30 members in attendance.
Thank you all for being so present and engaged during our CCRF meeting. Amy Chen, Fabiola Carrion (NHELP) and Amy Moy (Essential Access Health) provided us a thorough presentation of the Threats to Medi-Cal, ACA, and FPACT. We left the meeting with a level understanding of the programs and how cuts will impact CA (and nation).
Myra Duran (CLRJ) and Cammie Dodson (PWN) also led us in a discussion on how we can more actively practice and recognize intersectional issues affecting communities.
Finally, we finished the day lifting up messages and strategies that acknowledge the threats, which are much clearer and specific, yet are not solely reactionary.
See you all in Sacto in April!


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Naral Pro-Choice California releases report on California’s Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Naral Pro Choice Logo

Today, NARAL Pro-Choice California released findings from an undercover investigation that reveals that crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in California pose a danger to public health. CPCs deceive and misinform women about their reproductive options. They work specifically to block women from accessing abortion care, and in the process delay access to comprehensive prenatal care for women who want to continue their pregnancies. NARAL Pro-Choice California investigators visited over 25% of California’s crisis pregnancy centers, covering 19 counties. The findings from the investigation can be found at www.cpclies.com.

Find the press release here: http://www.prochoicecalifornia.org/media/press/20150312.shtml

National Clinic Access Project releases its 2014 report on Clinic Violence

Feminist Majority Foundation releases its 2014 report on Clinic Violence.

Excerpted from the Executive Summary:

The 2014 National Clinic Violence Survey is the first comprehensive nationwide survey of women’s health clinics since the summer of 2010. The Survey found that the most severe types of anti-abortion violence1 continue to impact 19.7% of clinics nationwide. Although this is down from the 23.5% of clinics nationwide that reported experiencing severe violence in 2010, that nearly 1 in 5 clinics experience severe violence is unacceptable.

The survey results show a clear need for continued prosecution of anti-abortion extremists to counter the ongoing unacceptably high levels of severe violence, and the trends of higher levels of targeted intimidation and threats of violence, which have proved in the past to be precursors to severe violence.

 

Find the full report here: 2014 report on clinic violence

BJOG Releases MPT Special Supplement (PDF)

IMPT for Reproductive Health Logo

Prevention that can prevent both unintended pregnancy along with Sexually Transmitted Infections, including HIV, could be available in the near future according to experts in a special edition of the BJOG: The International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The issue features a global team of researchers, funders, developers and advocates who identify the pressing global health rationale for MPTs and present new research and strategies for making the go/no go funding and research decisions that shape the field.

Click here to download the PDF