California inmates will be allowed to receive contraceptives based on a new law.
A California senate bill introduced by Sen. Holly Mitchell enables female prisoners to request contraceptives. The legislature passed senate bill 1433, and Governor Brown has signed it, reported the Los Angeles Sentinel’s online news service.
“The state has both a principled and economic stake in supporting the decisions of women who choose to use contraceptives while serving time,” said Mitchell, according to the article. “This law means that an inmate will be able to more fully engage in family planning before she’s released, enhancing the likelihood of a successful re-entry into society.”
Female inmates now have the right to request both contraceptives and family planning services.
California Correctional Health Care Services sponsored the bill, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California endorsed the bill.
All incarcerated people who are capable of becoming pregnant can receive these services. In particular, the bill clarifies that the department, upon an inmates’ request, will provide any incarcerated person who menstruates “materials necessary for personal hygiene with regard to her menstrual cycle and reproductive system, Contraceptive counseling and their choice of birth control methods … unless medically contraindicated,” according to the senate bill.
The bill would require incarcerated persons to have access to non-prescription birth control methods without the requirement to see a licensed health care provider. It also requires that the provider be “provided with training in reproductive health care and shall be non-directive, un-biased and non-coercive.’
The bill requires these services be provided to all incarcerated persons capable of becoming pregnant at least 60 days, but no longer than 180 days, prior to a scheduled release date” according to the bill.