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 Senate Bill 71 signed by Governor

Senate Bill 71, the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act, and five other reproductive health-related bills were signed into law by the Governor Davis on October 2, 2003.

The Public Health Institute is proud to have participated in this historic effort, under the leadership of the Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Senator Sheila Kuehl's office, and together with the collaborative efforts of the uncountable groups and individuals who signed on, held forums, wrote letters, made phone calls, and otherwise fueled the momentum for this accomplishment.

SB 71 overview from California Department of Education (pdf file)

SB 71 complete legislation (pdf file)

Gov. Davis Signs Legislative Package of Reproductive Health-Related Bills

Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 10/6/2003

California Gov. Gray Davis (D) on Thursday signed into law a package of six reproductive health-related bills, including a bill that would streamline the state's sex education curriculum, the Los Angeles Times reports (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 10/3).

The sex education law (SB 71) ensures that students who receive sex education in schools receive accurate information on abstinence, human sexuality, contraception, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in an age-appropriate manner (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 8/14). According to Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D), who sponsored the bill, the law will require schools that teach sex education or HIV prevention classes to send notices to parents at the start of the school year informing them of the dates students are scheduled to take sex education or HIV/AIDS prevention classes and if they are scheduled to participate in sexual behavior surveys. Under the new law, parents who do not want their children participating in the classes or surveys can return the notification form indicating that they wish to exclude their child from the instruction or survey. However, if the notification form is not returned, parental consent for all classes or surveys is assumed (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 9/15).

Other Bills

The legislative package also includes legislation (SB 490) that will allow pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception under statewide protocol approved by the Medical Board of California and the Board of Pharmacy; legislation (SB 545) that limits to $10 the fee a pharmacist can charge for dispensing EC and requires pharmacists to obtain at least one hour of training on EC; legislation (AB 561) that establishes in statute the Male Involvement Program, the Community Challenge Grant Program, the TeenSMART Program and the Information and Education Projects within the Office of Family Planning at the Department of Health Services; legislation (AB 996) that extends to facilities that provide reproductive health services, including abortion, an existing prohibition preventing insurers from canceling or refusing to renew property insurance policies or charging excessive premiums for policies because of insurance claims arising from specified hate crimes; and legislation (AB 663) that prohibits doctors, surgeons or medical students from performing a pelvic exam on an anesthetized woman without her consent (Davis release, 10/2).

According to a survey published in February in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, some medical students perform pelvic exams on women who are under anesthesia for other gynecological procedures without getting permission from the women. Such pelvic exams are routine for medical students who are performing other gynecological procedures on the patient (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 2/26). According to the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, the law is the first of its kind in the nation (Oberthur, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/3).


Women's advocacy groups praised Davis for signing the bills, according to the AP/Union-Tribune. Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said, "This is a truly historic day." She added that Davis' move to sign the bills demonstrates his intention to make California the "most pro-woman state in the nation," according to the AP/Union-Tribune.

However, Rep. Dave Cox, Assembly Republican leader, opposed the EC bills, according to spokesperson Peter DeMarco. According to DeMarco, Cox believes that making EC more widely available will lead to an increase in unprotected sex. In addition, although the California Pharmacists Association supported the bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense EC, it opposed the cap on consultation fees, saying that the law could create a barrier for women trying to access EC. CPA spokesperson Bill Bradley said that pharmacists may stop dispensing the pills because they will no longer be compensated for the extra time they spend explaining risks and proper usage of the pills (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/3).

The Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report is published for , a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, by National Journal Group Inc. (c) 2001 by National Journal Group Inc. and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved. For more news on reproductive health issues, visit the Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report.