With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, many in California and across the nation are concerned about access to reproductive care. Fortunately, California has strong laws in place protecting reproductive freedom, including the right to safe and legal abortion.
Californians who believe their right to reproductive healthcare, including accessing abortion, has been violated should immediately file a complaint at https://oag.ca.gov/report.
Know Your Abortion Rights
California has strong laws in place protecting reproductive freedom, including the right to safe and legal abortion. In California:
- You have the right to an abortion before viability. You do not need to provide a reason for why you are seeking an abortion.
- You have the right to an abortion after viability to protect your life or your health.
- You have the right to confidentiality. If you are married, generally your spouse will not be notified about your abortion.
- You have the right to obtain an abortion without parental consent. If you are a minor, generally your parents or guardians will not be notified about your abortion.
- You have the right to have your prescription for medicine to bring about an abortion filled in a timely manner.
- You have the right to access abortion services for little-to-no charge. Abortion services should generally be covered by your health insurance.
- You have the right to have an abortion performed by a trained professional. Only authorized healthcare providers, such as licensed doctors, nurses-midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, with proper training, can perform abortions.
- You have the right to ask your healthcare provider if they have objections to certain forms of medical care. Healthcare providers are allowed to refuse to perform abortions for moral, ethical, or religious reasons.
WARNING: Crisis Pregnancy Centers
While crisis pregnancy centers may advertise a full range of reproductive health services, they do not provide abortion or abortion referrals, and usually do not provide birth control or other forms of contraceptives. Californians who are pregnant or believe they may be pregnant should know that:
- Crisis pregnancy centers do not provide abortion or abortion referral, and often times do not provide birth control or other forms of contraceptives;
- Crisis pregnancy centers may not be licensed medical clinics or be required to keep medical records private;
- Crisis pregnancy centers may attempt to delay appointments or provide misinformation about the legality or safety of abortions;
- Crisis pregnancy centers may provide inaccurate health information about a person’s pregnancy and other aspects of reproductive healthcare; and
- Crisis pregnancy centers often look like and are located near reproductive healthcare facilities that provide abortion.
More information on crisis pregnancy centers is available in English, Spanish, Chinese (Traditional), Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Hindi/Punjabi.
Californians who have been the victim or target of deceptive, misleading, unfair, or unlawful conduct should immediately file a complaint at https://oag.ca.gov/crisis-pregnancy-center-complaint.
There are a number of programs that assist Californians in accessing abortion care, including:
- California Abortion Access, which is a safe space to access detailed guidance and resources on abortions. California protects the privacy of those who visit this website, and their information is not saved or tracked.
- ACCESS Reproductive Justice, which connects people to free and low-cost programs that pay for reproductive healthcare for people living in, traveling to, or traveling from California to receive an out-of-state abortion.
- Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, which provides direct and logistical support, transportation assistance, abortion appointment navigation, and other resources.
- The National Abortion Federation, which maintains a list of abortion providers.
DOJ Fights for Your Rights
The California Department of Justice remains committed to supporting, expanding, and defending reproductive freedom for all.
Protecting access to reproductive healthcare and ensuring patient and provider safety by:
- Launching the California Reproductive Rights Task Force, bringing together legal and law enforcement partners to use their powers and expertise to ensure our state remains a safe haven
- Supporting and providing technical expertise on multiple new pieces of legislation protecting Californians’ reproductive rights, including AB 1242 (now successfully passed into law), which protects reproductive digital information handled by companies incorporated or headquartered in California
- Serving on the advisory committee of the Southern California Legal Alliance for Reproductive Justice, which offers pro bono services for those in need of legal help related to abortion and other reproductive care
- Communicating with Californians about their abortion rights and protections under California law, protecting their privacy while seeking reproductive care, access to free or low-cost birth control, and the misleading tactics of crisis pregnancy centers
- Ensuring compliance with our healthcare and medical data privacy laws by emphasizing health apps’ obligations under California law to protect and secure reproductive health information
- Protecting patients and providers at abortion clinics from harassment, violence, and invasion of privacy by issuing a law enforcement bulletin on California’s FACE Act, organizing trainings for local district attorneys and law enforcement officials on its applications, and successfully defending the law from attacks in court
- Issuing legal guidance to all district attorneys, police chiefs, sheriffs, and state law enforcement agencies on the prohibition of the extradition of individuals providing or accessing reproductive care in California
- Issuing a first-in-the-nation legal alert to ensure California law is not misused to wrongfully prosecute pregnancy loss, after two women were charged with murder for suffering a stillbirth
- Meeting with reproductive justice advocates throughout the state – in San Francisco, San Diego, Long Beach, Sacramento, San Bernardino, and the Bay Area – to discuss the impact of the reversal of Roe v. Wade, especially on women of color, to ensure Californians understand their rights and protections, and to reaffirm California’s commitment to reproductive freedom
- Taking action to ensure reproductive healthcare is provided in county jails, in response to reports that some counties have failed to provide incarcerated individuals with adequate access to legal mandated services
Leading the charge nationwide in the fight to defend and expand reproductive freedoms by:
- Pushing for the passage of federal laws that would restore and protect Americans’ constitutional right to abortion
- Delivering testimony before the Maryland Cybersecurity Council on AB 1242, California’s groundbreaking effort to protect digital information on abortion
- Leading and joining multistate efforts against harmful, restrictive laws in anti-abortion states like South Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, Indiana, Arizona, and Idaho
- Fighting to safeguard the digital privacy of abortion seekers and providers from those seeking to target them by accessing their sensitive health data through Apple’s App Store, or health apps such as fertility trackers, or through out-of-state law enforcement agency search warrants
- Joining the legal battle to protect nationwide access to widely-used medication abortion – in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and in the U.S. Supreme Court, and pushing for broader availability of medication abortion, including at retail pharmacies
- Calling for FDA approval of the nation’s first over-the-counter birth control, opposing restrictions to Title X, the nation's sole federal program dedicated to family planning services, and leading the charge against dangerous Trump-era rules that would allow nearly all types of employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees
- Supporting and defending federal reproductive care protections for patients in need of emergency treatment, underserved and marginalized communities, veterans and their beneficiaries
- Meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris and other state attorneys general in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade to work together to share strategies and solutions and take strong actions together
- Helping to undo harmful Trump Administration attempts to throw up barriers to abortion coverage