No state does more to protect abortion access

California guarantees the right to abortion in statute and the state constitution. It covers the cost of abortion for lower-income Californians on Medi-Cal, and also requires private insurance to cover it. And the state has rejected the idea of requiring waiting periods or parental consent for abortion.

Here’s how its abortion policies compare to the rest of the country, based on a 12-point scale developed by The Guttmacher Institute.

Note: The Guttmacher Instititute was established as part of Planned Parenthood in 1968 but sought independent status roughly 10 years later and stopped taking financial contributions from Planned Parenthood more than a decade ago. Here are the 12 criteria for assessing state abortion policies:


  • Guaranteed in the state constitution
  • Guaranteed in state statute
  • Guaranteed Medicaid coverage
  • Advanced practice clinicians like nurse practitioners allowed to perform
  • Private health insurance coverage required


  • Pre- or Post-viability abortions banned
  • Require in-person counseling and a waiting period
  • Medicaid coverage restricted
  • Telemedicine consultations prohibited
  • Parental consent required
  • Clinic regulations imposed like necessitating hospital admitting privileges

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