The 2019 California legislative session has reached its halfway point. The deadline for bills to pass out of their house of origin was May 31. Those measures that did not make it to the floor of their first house have another chance at passage beginning in January 2020, the second year of the 2019-20 session.
Several bills, Concerned Women for America (CWA) of California is actively opposing, passed the house-of-origin hurdle and are now in their second house. We highlight three of these bills below and ask that you pray and act as noted. (Information who your legislators are and how to contact them are within the Take Action section at the bottom.)
SB 24 – Medical Abortions on Public University Campuses
This bill by Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) will require campus clinics to provide chemical abortions up to 10 weeks of pregnancy to college students on the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) campuses. Aside from killing an unborn child, this abortion technique is emotionally and physically dangerous to the woman and has even caused fatalities. SB 24 passed the State Senate on May 20. Because this bill will likely pass its assigned committees (Assembly Health and Higher Education), we ask you to begin letting your assembly member know now that UC and CSU campus health centers should not be turned into abortion clinics. This is not the scope of education.
AB 493 – LGBTQ Teacher In-Service Training
While California schools have previously instituted anti-bullying efforts and many are already addressing issues regarding “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning” (LBGTQ) students with teachers, a new bill sets specific requirements and tracking. AB 493, sponsored by Sen. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), requires all California public schools, including charter schools, to provide online in-service training at least every two years to all teachers and certificated staff and adopt strategies to increase support for LGBTQ students. If funds are appropriated, schools may utilize grants to offer in-person training. For now, the training requirement is limited to grades 7-12, but there is no prohibition against involving teachers in earlier grades, and many schools are already implementing such training K-12.
With this bill, the California Department of Education will develop the training materials and track the attendance of staff. As the bill states, “The training program is interactive, requiring the sustained input and participation of the trainee.” Given the materials already being offered by the department are anti-bullying and sex education resources, this causes great concern. Further, teacher testimonies of their experiences in training already occurring include shaming by the instructors of traditional beliefs regarding sexuality and gender.
CWA of California does not support the bullying of any student for any reason; there are sufficient laws/regulations already in place for this. In addition, we do not support requirements that teachers participate in training that conflicts with their closely held religious beliefs or conscience nor requires them to affirm such behavior. AB 493 has already passed the State Assembly and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on July 10. Given the make-up of the committee and the likelihood it will pass this bill, we suggest that you begin alerting your state senator now to your concerns about AB 493.
AB 175 – Children’s Rights in Foster Care
California’s foster care system currently allows broad rights to foster children, including the ability to review their own case plan at age 12 and have access to care, treatments, and benefits in accordance to their “actual or perceived” sexual orientation or gender identity. Recent amendments to AB 175 cause us great concern about the effect further expansion of rights will have on an already vulnerable population.
AB 175, authored by Asm. Mike Gipson (D-Compton), lowers that age of foster plan review to 10 and includes prompt access to “reproductive and sexual health care” including “gender-affirming health care and gender-affirming mental health care.” Most alarmingly, the bill gives these at-risk children the right “[a]t any age, to consent to or decline services regarding contraception, pregnancy, and perinatal care, including, but not limited to, abortion services and health care services for sexual assault without the knowledge or consent of any adult.” Current California law already allows children 12 and above the right to access reproductive health services, including abortion, without parental knowledge or consent. AB 175 makes an already terrible situation even worse.
AB 175 also imposes requirements on foster parents. They must not only abide by all the “rights” offered to their foster children as noted above but must also participate in training for cultural competency and sensitivity involving LGBTQ issues and use names and pronouns preferred by the child – regardless of how it may conflict with their closely held religious beliefs or conscience.
These and other concerns place CWA of California in an opposing position with regard to AB 175. The bill will be before the Senate Human Services Committee on June 24. We ask you to begin now contacting your state senator with your concerns.
Please Take Action: Call your assembly member and ask a “no” vote on SB 24 and call your state senator and ask for a “no” vote on AB 175 and AB 493. Be sure to let him/her know you are a member of Concerned Women for America of California. Find your assembly member and state senator here.
Please Pray that our California lawmakers who know the Lord would seek His wisdom and stand firmly for His tenets as they consider and vote on these and other bills. Pray for those who don’t know Him to come to a saving knowledge of the Lord and follow Him.
Thank you for making a difference with your prayers and action!
CWA of California