California bill to make vasectomies cheaper goes to governor

Aug 31, 2022, 3:18 PM | Updated: 4:43 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Months after making abortions cheaper for women, California lawmakers have now voted to make vasectomies cheaper for men.

The bill passed Wednesday and now goes to Gov. Gavin Newsom. If he signs it, California would become the eighth state to do this for vasectomies — joining Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Vermont.

Earlier this year, California passed a law banning private insurance companies from charging people things like co-pays and deductibles for abortions. That makes it cheaper for women with private insurance to get an abortion — something Democrats wanted to do in advance of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. Six states — California, Illinois, Oregon, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts — ban out-of-pocket costs for abortions.

State senators on Wednesday voted to do the same thing for a vasectomy — the medical procedure that sterilizes men. Starting in 2024, the bill would make sure men on private insurance plans could get vasectomies at no additional cost other than what they pay for their monthly premiums, saving an average of $341.

“Californians must be able to decide for themselves if and when they have children,” state Sen. Connie Leyva, the bill’s author, said in a statement after it passed. There was no debate on the Senate floor.

Some health care advocates have pushed to make vasectomies cheaper for years, but states have been slow to make the change. That could be shifting in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, calling into question long-held assumptions about access to reproductive care.

“Reproductive freedom is on the line and it’s not a guarantee anywhere. Anything you thought was a given is not, and should be codified into law,” said Liz McCaman Taylor, a senior attorney with the National Health Law Program, a group that supports abortion rights. “(This bill) is so important for making California a safe space and a place where reproductive freedom for all people and all genders is valued and baked into the system.”

Making vasectomies cheaper is just one part of the bill, which is aimed at making it easier for women to get contraceptives. The bill would require insurance companies to cover the costs of over-the-counter contraceptives for women. That means women could get male condoms at a pharmacy just by showing their insurance card.

But the bill would not apply to men, because of a technicality with the federal Affordable Care Act.

“The real exciting part is you could basically go to your retail pharmacy of choice, pick up an over-the-counter product, show your insurance card and have them ring it up for you,” Taylor said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

21 hours ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

22 hours ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

2 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

2 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

3 days ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

California bill to make vasectomies cheaper goes to governor