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« Two-Year Budget Deal a Win for Women’s Health? Not So Fast | Main | RWV roundup: Title X, Medicaid & high drug prices »

Activists challenge Georgia abortion ban, expand access in California.

Major health coverage gains for immigrants in California

We have great news coming from California, as the state moves forward with expanding health coverage for young adult immigrants!

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill that will allow all low-income young adults in the state access to health coverage – regardless of their immigration status. Under this new law, an estimated 138,000 California residents age 19-25 will now qualify for health coverage under Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. This is an expansion on existing California law, which already provides coverage to all residents, including undocumented immigrants, age 18 and under. Now, all California residents low-income aged 25 and under are guaranteed health coverage under Medi-Cal.

RWV’s California-based regional coordinator, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), was part of a team of health advocates that played an integral role in passing this bill. "CLRJ was proud to join our many coalition partners in advancing legislation and budget advocacy to expand health care to low-income undocumented immigrants in California,” the organization said in a recent statement. “We are pleased that the budget that was recently signed included $98 million to expand Medi-Cal to young adults.” Though this law is a huge step in the right direction, CLRJ vows to continue pushing for health coverage to be available to all California residents, including undocumented seniors age 65 and up. “CLRJ will continue strategize with our partners and fight to ensure all Californians have access to care, regardless of immigration status."

Advocates file for injunction against Georgia abortion ban

Feminist Women’s Health Center (FWHC), our Atlanta-based regional coordinator, and their coalition partners have filed for an injunction to prevent the state of Georgia fromenforcing the abortion ban when the law goes into effect. The lawsuit was filed by a wide range of health providers, including SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, the lead plaintiff, Feminist Women’s Health Center, and Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc. The groups are suing Governor Brian Kemp and several other state and local officials and are asking the court to find that the law is unconstitutional.

“Feminist Women’s Health Center has been providing comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortion care, to Georgians since 1976 and mobilizing in our communities since 1996. We are challenging this unconstitutional law because we are committed to serving our patients and to a vision of Georgia where reproductive justice is fully realized for everyone. This clinic stays open,” said Kwajelyn J. Jackson, executive director of FWHC.

Just this year, 12 states across the country have passed some sort of abortion ban, in a direct challenge  to Roe v. Wade. Fortunately, none of these bans have gone into effect. Some have been temporarily blocked by a court and others are being challenged before the effective date. The Georgia law is supposed to take effect on January 1, 2020 and the court may take much longer to reach a final decision on the validity of the law. The plaintiffs requested an injunction to ensure that people who need abortion care will be able to receive services while the lawsuit is pending. “We are confident that our request will be granted and that abortion will continue to remain legal in Georgia, as it is currently in all 50 states,” said Jackson. To learn more about how the lawyers working on SisterSong v Kemp have integrated a reproductive justice analysis into their legal arguments, look here.

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