As Attacks on Abortion Access Continue, State-Funded Grant Programs Launched to Help Make California’s Promise of Leading as a “Reproductive Freedom State” a Reality

Release Date
Contact Information

Amy Moy / 415.518.4465 / amoy@essentialaccess.org

$60 Million Available to Cover Costs of

Uncompensated Care and Practical Support 

Los Angeles/Sacramento, CA — The Newsom administration and California State Legislature took swift and historic action to protect and expand access to abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s devastating decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade last year. The state invested a total of $200 million to bolster sexual and reproductive health access in the 2022-2023 budget. The California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) is partnering with Essential Access to distribute $60 million through two newly established state-funded grant programs designed to increase access to abortion and birth control for uninsured Californians with low-incomes, and others who travel to California to receive essential health care.

Requests for proposals for the grant programs were informed by a statewide stakeholder workgroup, and released this week with the goal of funding being distributed in June to help make California’s promise of being a “Reproductive Freedom State” a reality by providing no-cost services and reducing other barriers to clinical care.

The Uncompensated Care Grant Program, was established with an initial investment of $40 million, to provide time-sensitive abortion and birth control services to uninsured patients or patients who are unable to use their health insurance coverage for abortion care, and have incomes at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. Medi-Cal-enrolled providers who offer these services are eligible to apply.

The Abortion Practical Support Grant Program, received $20 million in last year’s state budget to assist pregnant individuals residing in or traveling to California, to obtain practical support for abortion from eligible non-profit organizations in California. This program covers transportation, lodging, meals, and childcare expenses while helping organizations cover care management, staff training, communication platforms, and other indirect costs. Essential Access Health is partnering with ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE to expand practical support capacity statewide by expanding their healthline, providing technical assistance to Practical Support Grant Program recipients, and making connections with other abortion funds across the country.

The creation of the grant programs was included in recommendations outlined in a report released by the California Future of Abortion Council for policymakers to implement as threats to abortion rights and access continue.

"California leads the nation with a wide range of legal protections on the books, but abortion access remains out of reach for far too many in California - and the estimated 23 million people of reproductive age living in states with abortion bans and extreme restrictions,” said Amy Moy, Co-CEO of Essential Access Health. "Last year, California committed to ensuring that everyone has access to the essential care they want and need. That commitment continues today - nearly one year after the leaked Dobbs decision was released - as we take meaningful steps forward to make effective use of state funding, get critical resources out into the field, and support the fundamental right to make personal decisions about our health, bodies, and futures.”

“ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE is thrilled to be partnering with Essential Access Health to administer the Abortion Practical Support Grant Program. As California’s only independent abortion fund and practical support organization, we deeply understand the barriers people face when accessing abortion care,” said Jessica Pinckney Gil, Executive Director of ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE. “The programs funded and approved by the California legislature and Governor Newsom take great strides to reduce the barriers that disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, People of Color, people with low incomes, individuals in rural communities, folks living with disabilities, queer and trans individuals, young people, and those living at the intersections of these and other historically marginalized identities."

Applications for the new programs are now open and due on May 19, 2023. To learn more and apply for funding through The Uncompensated Care Grant Program, please visit here. To learn more and apply for The Abortion Practical Support Grant Program, please visit here.

About Essential Access Health

Essential Access Health is a California-based non-profit organization that champions and promotes sexual and reproductive health equity for all. We achieve our mission through an umbrella of programs and services, including clinical training, advanced clinical research, and provider support services. For more than five decades, the organization has led the Title X federal family planning program in California, and has distributed public funding to a broad range of providers statewide. Learn more at www.essentialaccess.org/about.

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