California Assembly Passes Bill Expanding School-Based Health Centers
California State Capitol building Sacramento with national flags - stock photo The California State Capitol building ejs9 via Getty Images
ejs9 via Getty Images

The California Assembly passed a bill this week expanding school health clinics that critics say puts the rights of parents to the side and could offer access to “reproductive” services to students.

“Once again the Legislature is putting the demands of Planned Parenthood and other cultural revolutionaries ahead of parental rights and what’s best for children,” Jonathan Keller, President of California Family Council, said in an emailed statement to The Daily Wire. “Schools should not perform medical procedures on children while keeping their mothers and fathers in the dark. We applaud the Senate Republicans who fervently objected to how this bill further erodes parental rights.”

The bill, AB-1940, would amend the establishment of “[s]chool-based health centers,” requiring the Office of School-Based Health Programs to work alongside the State Department of Public Health to carry out the School-Based Health Center Support Program rather than the Education Department serving as the primary liaison, according to the legislative digest of the bill and Courthouse News.

The bill also creates a grant program within the larger program for the centers. Centers with the grant funds must include “primary medical care,” and can also offer “other health care services, including behavioral health, dental care, health education, and related services in response to community needs.”

It also must attempt to offer services, which could include “[p]hysical examinations, immunizations, and other preventive medical services,” as well as “[r]eproductive health services,” and “[m]ental health services,” among other items.

Senate Republicans reportedly spoke out against the bill this week, saying it could give minors the ability to use so-called reproductive health services.

Republican state Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh inquired about what grade students would be able to get information about all of the health care offered. She asked Senator Melissa Hurtado, a Democrat, who would be footing the bill for those services, as well.

Hurtado noted that the bill doesn’t alter the school district and school board’s local powers, which would determine which services a health center could offer and how they will be paid for.

“I can assure you that no SBHCs have ever provided abortion services to a child,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of fear in regards to this bill, that really doesn’t change the way parents get notified. It doesn’t change medical consent laws.”

Another bill, AB-1184, is at the heart of the matter, and lends to Republicans’ concerns with the current AB-1940.

AB-1184 will go into effect this year to change the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act to allow health choices made by minors to be kept from their parents.

“My concern with this particular bill would be that we’re now providing these services on campus without parents knowing, health wise or through their health plans, what is being provided to their children,” Ochoa Bogh said.

In a statement, Ochoa Bogh said, “Last year, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 1184, which limits parents’ abilities to protect their children by removing them from sensitive conversations as early as 12 years old. This year we are faced with AB 1940, which permits a school-based health center to provide new services, including behavioral health and dental care alongside reproductive services allowed under current law without parental notification.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  California Assembly Passes Bill Expanding School-Based Health Centers