Newsom signs privacy laws for abortion providers and patients

Newsom signs privacy laws for abortion providers and patients

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Ivory poaching changes evolution of elephants California regulator proposes ban on oil drilling near schools, hospitals, homes Biden says he would tap National Guard to help with supply chain issues MORE (D) on Wednesday signed two laws to protect the privacy of abortion providers and patients.

“California has been a leader in protecting access to sexual and reproductive rights, but as we’ve seen recently with unprecedented attacks on these rights, we can and must do more,” Newsom said in a statement.

“I applaud the establishment of the California Future of Abortion Council and look forward to its important work to advance our state's leadership on this vital issue," he said. "I’m proud today to sign these two bills that demonstrate our dedication to strengthening and further protecting access to reproductive health care services in California.”

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In a statement announcing the signing of the two bills, Newsom's office noted the recent passing of the six-week ban on abortions in Texas, referring to it as one of many "attacks on sexual health care and reproductive rights" occurring in the U.S.

One California bill, AB 1356, increases penalties for crimes that violate the California Freedom of Access to Clinic law. The law prohibits the phone number and home address of an abortion provider, patient volunteer or clinic employee from being posted on the internet.

It also prohibits photos and videos of patients and providers being taken within 100 feet of a clinic that provides abortions.

The other bill Newsom signed, AB 1184, is designed to protect the privacy of people receiving reproductive health care services as well as gender-confirming care by ensuring their information is kept private if they are not the primary policyholder on their health insurance.

The signing of these two laws in California comes the same week Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottLincoln Project files ethics complaint against Abbott Arizona attorney general asks for restraining order to block federal vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Key CDC panel backs Moderna, J&J boosters MORE (R) signed a new abortion bill into law further restricting access.

The new law bans the use of abortion-inducing drugs seven weeks into the pregnancy, and allows people who knowingly break this law to be criminally charged, potentially charged with thousands of dollars in fines and imprisoned for up to two years.