The powerful pro-abortion lobby continued to exhibit its clout, as the California Legislature approved a bill that would empower physician assistants to perform aspiration abortions and greenlit legislation to expand Medicaid coverage of the abortion pill to 13 weeks.

The legislation was yet another blow, after a state constitutional amendment enshrining abortion was enacted by voters in 2022.

On the pro-life side, an effort to force pregnancy centers out of business by allowing them to be sued for false advertising failed to pass. The California Catholic Conference and other pro-life organizations and supporters lobbied against the bills, noting they supported transparent advertising but said this was a thinly veiled attempt to shut down pregnancy centers. One of the two bill’s background information called pregnancy centers ‘fake clinics.’

“While we expected several abortion expansion bills to pass, the Conference was excited to see some of the bills held back, and while we still didn’t support others, we made progress in diluting their harms,” said Molly Sheahan, associate director for healthy families, California Catholic Conference.

Several bills passed that would support low-income pregnant moms and families with young children. They include expanded health care coverage during and after pregnancy for moms and entering into the state code—and thus making funding more secure–several programs begun administratively that help poor and at-risk moms and families.

The 2022-23 legislative session concluded Sept. 14. Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Oct. 14 to sign or veto bills. It takes a two-thirds vote for the legislature to override any vetoes.

From Archdiocese of San Francisco