BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The Life Legal Defense Foundation today filed suit in Kern County Superior Court to enjoin SB 245, the "Abortion Accessibility Act," which requires insurance companies to pay for abortions without any cost-sharing. This unconstitutional law discriminates against women who choose to carry their babies to term and creates perverse financial incentives that subsidize abortion.
Life Legal is suing on behalf of pro-life pregnancy care centers because the law on its face favors abortion over childbirth, which is explicitly forbidden by the California Constitution according to long-established case law.
State Senator Lena Gonzalez introduced SB 245 in January 2021. The bill prevents insurance plans from imposing "a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement" on abortion or abortion-related services. Not surprisingly, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law. It is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2023.
Ironically, Gonzalez's statements promoting the law are the same as Life Legal's arguments against it. Gonzalez stated, "Each person deserves the right to decide if, when, and how they grow their family regardless of income and without stigma and shame." However, SB245 provides financial advantages only to women who kill their yet unborn family members, not to those who actually decide to "grow their families."
Under SB 245, abortion achieves the same privileged status as birth control as the only two medical interventions that the state mandates must be completely free for everyone.
Life Legal's lawsuit emphasizes the harmful effect SB 245 will have on poorer women. By requiring health insurance companies to finance abortion without any conditions whatsoever, while denying the same coverage to maternity care, SB 245 exercises what can only be described as coercion on low-income women undecided about their pregnancies.
Life Legal's challenge to SB 245 is the first lawsuit against any of the radical new pro-abortion laws passed in California relating to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
"In California, the partisans of abortion are showing their true colors and openly privileging abortion over childbirth, especially for populations they want fewer of," said Life Legal's Chief Executive Officer Alexandra Snyder. "It comes as no surprise that Planned Parenthood is one of the leading sponsors of SB 245, which incentivizes abortion, enriches abortionists, and eliminates options for women. Our lawsuit seeks to eliminate the law's capricious discrimination against women who choose anything but death for their children."
About Life Legal Defense Foundationwww.lldf.org.Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a nonprofit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information about the Life Legal Defense Foundation, visit