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Legislative victories for women’s health

 Dr. Laura L. Sirott  Shannon Smith-Crowley     

Laura L. Sirott, MD, District IX secretary and Committee on State Legislation chair, and Shannon Smith-Crowley, JD, MHA, District IX director of government relations

The 2011–12 legislative session was another successful one for ob-gyns and women’s health. The high percentage of bills we supported that passed the Legislature and were signed by the governor was remarkable given California’s ongoing budget crisis.

Critical women’s health bills are summarized below. Click on the featured links to learn more.

Senate Bill 1538—Mammograms and breast density
District IX and the California Medical Association (CMA) helped modify this bill, which requires women to be notified if their mammogram shows they have highly dense breasts. The bill will be implemented on April 1, 2013. District IX and the American College of Radiology plan to develop materials to assist you in discussing breast density and breast cancer screening with your patients. Click on the above link to access a brochure from the American College of Radiology.

Assembly Bill 2348—Registered nurses and dispensation of drugs
District IX supported this bill allowing registered nurses under physician supervision to dispense certain hormonal contraceptives. Patients who receive these contraceptives are required to have ongoing medical care consistent with national guidelines.

Assembly Bill 2356—Tissue donation
This bill states that single women and lesbian couples attempting self-insemination at home with a donor should be treated the same as a “sexually intimate couple.” Therefore, they should be able to use fresh, non-quarantined sperm. Read additional analysis of this bill.

Senate Resolution 65—Women in pain
This resolution encourages increased awareness and activity to improve the quality of life of women in pain. The CMA Foundation is planning on adding this issue to its existing required CME course. 

Three more bills of note are: Assembly Bill 2530—Inmates in Labor; Assembly Bill 1640—CalWORKs benefits and pregnant mothers; and Assembly Bill 1731—Newborn screening program for congenital heart disease.

Remember, District IX advocates for women to regulatory agencies such as Medi-Cal and the California Board of Pharmacy as well. To stay up to date on the District IX legislative agenda, use our legislative tracking system and “like” the District IX Facebook page.