California Bill AB 1940 expands “reproductive services” for Elementary and High Schools
California has never provided direct state funding for school-based health centers. Proposed bill, AB 1940, will change that by funding health services in and near schools from first through twelfth grade.
Sounds like a good thing in principle, right? Improving student health, nutrition and dental care are noble public goals.
But, as currently drafted, the bill may authorize funding for abortions on school campuses.
Is AB 1940 part of Abortion Providers’ Long Game?
AB 1940 appears to be part of a well-devised plan by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to commendeer state funding to supplement an already well-endowed abortion business model through schools.
In 2019, LAUSD, the second largest education school district in the nation, provided $10 million in funding to help Planned Parenthood pioneer “a new model” by opening clinics at 50 Los Angeles high schools. LAUSD has “over 600,000 students and operates 1,200 schools in the LA area.”
The Washington Post reported that the Planned Parenthood “Well-Being Centers” will provide a “full range of birth-control options, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy counseling.”
Now, with AB 1940, California public officials are considering providing another tranche of funding that may increase abortion access in grade schools and high schools through public grants.
Reproductive Health Services in Both Public and Private Schools
First, AB 1940 appears to vastly expand the reach of the Departments of Health and Safety and Education to impact private schools. The bill amends existing law by replacing the words “Public School Health Center” with the words “School-Based Health Center.”
The term “school-based” is broadly defined to encompass “student-focused health centers or clinics…located at or near schools” – and is not limited to public schools. AB 1940 will effectively mandate state-funded “school-based health centers” on or next to private as well as public school campuses.
Second, the bill will provide grant-funding to these school-based health centers to “provide primary medical care” including “reproductive health services…through mobile health or telehealth.”
The phrase “reproductive health services” is already defined in California law as “health care services relating to the termination of a pregnancy in a reproductive health care services facility.”
AB 1940 expands the duties of the Department of Education to administer the new School-Based Health Program as well as coordinating its operation with the School-Based Health Alliance. Without a clarifying limitation on the scope of this bill, people in charge of educating our children will also be in charge of ensuring girls in grade school can access chemical and surgical abortion services, all paid for by taxpayers without their knowledge.
Watch League expert witnesses Liz Rangel and Kathleen Jones oppose AB 1940
Will AB 1940 bring Chemical Abortions to Grade Schools?
With the passage of SB 24 in 2019, California law already compels all public colleges to provide the abortion pill to students on campus in order to “remove barriers to reproductive health.”
Minors already have the state constitutional right to abortions without parental consent or even parental notice and without court permission. American Academy of Pediatrics v. Lungren 16 Cal.4th 307 (1997).
Once AB 1940’s program is enacted, the next logical step will be to compel these school-based health centers to provide abortion pills to grade school and high school girls.
Pro-Life Medical Clinics Need Not Apply
And guess who cannot operate at a School-Based Health Center under AB 1940? That’s right — licensed medical clinics who choose NOT to offer abortion services, but compassionate options including counseling, ultrasounds, STIs and prenatal care.
Grant applicants for this lucrative School-Based Health Center funding “shall meet or have a plan to meet all” of the program requirements enumerated under Section 8 of Ab 1940, which includes providing reproductive services – again, that’s code word for abortion services. Unless the term is clarified in the current draft, that would exclude pro-life clinics from operating as a School-Based Health Centers and from benefitting from these state funding grants.
Assembly Member Rudy Salas, Jr. authored AB 1940. Contact him at his Capitol Office (916) 319-2032 or at one of his District Offices: Bakersfield (661) 335-0302; or Hanford (559) 585-7170.