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California legislative dreaming

June 22, 2017
Vicki Evans

California has had a full-time legislature since 1966, only one of three states that boasts a full-time, lucratively paid and nicely staffed governing body. It’s been said that this prompts the introduction of some strange, offbeat and politically motivated bills that might not otherwise be considered by legislators with less time on their hands. In any case, it does seem to encourage bills that propose solutions in search of problems.

This is certainly true of AB569, Discrimination: Reproductive Health, a dangerous bill sponsored by abortion rights cheerleader NARAL. The bill claims to seek legal protections from discrimination or retaliation for the “reproductive decisions” of employees or their dependents. According to the California Catholic Conference, there are actually no substantiated claims of discrimination in the secular workforce against women who are pregnant or exercise reproductive choices. In truth, the bill targets religious employers whose employees are asked to practice what their church preaches. It is a direct violation of religious liberty and First Amendment rights. AB569 makes all employers vulnerable to nuisance lawsuits from not only employees, but also, by adding a new provision that is unprecedented in California law, from the dependents of employees as well.

SB743, Medi-Cal: Family Planning Providers, is a bill co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood and designed to preserve Californians’ government-subsidized access to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, should the federal government make good on its threat to defund them. Not content with legislating to correct existing problems, the legislature is running interference for Planned Parenthood in advance so it can lock in its public funding whatever the future may bring.

And speaking of ensuring against potential funding problems for the abortion industry, SB309, License Plates: Reproductive Freedom Fund, would require the Department of Health Care Services to sponsor a reproductive freedom license plate, whose proceeds would be deposited into a new California Reproductive Freedom Fund. As the California Catholic Conference points out, no government-funded agency should be forced to provide one-sided, politically motivated advertisements for state funded abortions as the only alternative to pregnancy.

SB179, Gender Identity: Female, Male or Nonbinary, is an interesting bill that proposes to create a new gender category in public law, a gender to be known as “nonbinary.” SB179 would enact the Gender Recognition Act authorizing a person to submit an application to the State Registrar to change their gender, without having undergone any treatment, to conform to the person’s gender identity. The individual’s original identity and sex as shown on the birth certificate would be placed under seal and made inaccessible to law enforcement and members of the public, because the official legislative findings in the bill claim that “gender identification is fundamentally personal.” Does the legislature have the power to create a new gender? Stay tuned.

Evans_Vicki - web 100x125Evans is Respect Life Coordinator for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

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