Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday requiring crisis pregnancy centers, which often try to steer women away from abortion, to provide information about reproductive services available elsewhere, including abortion.
Assembly Bill 775, by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, applies to all California facilities offering pregnancy-related services, compelling them to notify clients of the state’s free and low-cost alternative programs for family planning, prenatal care and abortion.
But the fight over the measure primarily came down to crisis pregnancy centers, faith-based entities that critics say exist largely to persuade women to carry pregnancies to term.
Proponents of the bill, including supporters of abortion rights, said it would better inform women of important health care matters. Opponents and Republican lawmakers said the legislation amounted to an unconstitutional attack on private entities’ core beliefs.
Brown signed the bill without comment. The fourth-term Democrat also signed Assembly Bill 1177, by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, allowing primary care clinics that offer abortions to be licensed without a transfer agreement to a nearby hospital.