Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
 
STATE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROFILE

California

NATIONAL BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Despite the demonstrable importance and ubiquity of contraception, the truth is that ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted and planned is difficult, at both the individual and the societal levels. For the typical American woman to have two children, she will spend close to three years pregnant, postpartum or attempting to become pregnant, and about three decades—more than three-quarters of her reproductive life—trying to avoid pregnancy. Not all women, however, are successful: About half of all pregnancies in the United States each year—more than three million of them—are unintended. By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and at 2008 rates about three in ten will have had an abortion. Nonetheless, contraceptive use can and does dramatically reduce women's odds of having an unintended pregnancy.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • In 2012, there were 8,460,810 women of reproductive age (aged 13—44) in California, 5,067,720 of whom were in need of contraceptive services and supplies. Of these:
    • AGE: 544,930 were under the age of 20 and 4,522,790 were aged 20—44.
    • INCOME: Among women aged 20—44, 838,330 were below 100% of the federal poverty level.
    • RACE/ETHNICITY: 1,694,860 were non-Hispanic white; 307,190 were non-Hispanic black; and 2,096,370 were Hispanic.
  • In 2012, there were 2,649,750 women in California in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies. Of these, 544,930 were in need of publicly supported services because they were sexually active teenagers, and 2,104,820 because they had incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level.
  • In 2012—2013, 24% of women aged 15—44 in California were uninsured, while 18% were enrolled in Medicaid.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services

PREGNANCIES, BIRTHS AND ABORTIONS

  • In 2011, there were 802,400 pregnancies to the 7,917,182 women of reproductive age (15—44) in California; that did not result in miscarriages or stillbirths, 63% resulted in live births and 23% in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 53% of pregnancies in California were unintended. There were 516,000 unintended pregnancies to women in California, producing an unintended pregnancy rate of 66 per 1,000 women of reproductive age.
  • Of all unintended pregnancies in California in 2008, 48% resulted in live births and 39% resulted in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 62% of births in California resulting from unintended pregnancies were publicly funded, compared with 50% of all births and 41% of births resulting from intended pregnancies.
  • Of the 275,000 publicly funded births in California in 2008, 152,600 resulted from unintended pregnancies.
  • Births resulting from unintended pregnancies in California accounted for $1,477 million in public costs in 2008, including $739 million in federal costs and $739 million in state costs.
  • In 2011, 181,730 women obtained abortions in California, producing a rate of 23 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. Some of these women were from other states, and some California residents had abortions in other states, so this rate may not reflect the abortion rate of state residents. The rate declined 16% since 2008, when it was 27.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15—44. California represents 17.2% of all abortions in the United States.
  • In 2010, 211,930 California residents obtained abortions, producing a rate of 27.1 per 1,000 women of reproductive age.
  • In 2010, there were 80,970 pregnancies to California teens aged 15—19; pregnancies that did not result in miscarriages or stillbirths, 62% resulted in live births and 38% in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 2,020 teens obtained abortions in California, producing a rate of 19 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15—19.
  • In 2011, there were 512 abortion providers in California; 169 of those were clinics. This represents a 2% decrease in overall providers and a 5% decrease in clinics from 2008, when there were 522 abortion providers overall, of which 169 were abortion clinics.
  • In 2011, 45% of California counties had no abortion clinic; 5% of California women lived in these counties.

For more information, see State Facts About Abortion

PUBLICLY FUNDED CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES

  • In 2012 in California, safety net health centers provided contraceptive care to 1,471,820 women.
  • In 2010 1,085 safety net health centers served 293,960 teenagers in need of contraceptive care.
  • Safety net health centers in California served 56% of all women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies in 2012.
  • In California, $245 in public funds was spent on contraceptive services and supplies per woman in need in 2010.
  • In California safety net health centers that received some support through the federal Title X family planning program provided contraceptive care to 1,059,040 women in 2012.
  • In 2010, 325 safety net health centers that received some support through the federal Title X family planning program served 225,080 teenagers in California in need of contraceptive care.
  • Title X-supported centers in California served 40% of all women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies in 2012.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services

For county-level data see Guttmacher's County-level Table Maker

IMPACT OF PUBLICLY FUNDED CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES

  • Publicly funded family planning services help women to avoid pregnancies they do not want and to plan pregnancies they do. In 2012, these services helped women in California avoid 360,500 unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in about 178,800 unintended births and 123,000 abortions.
  • Contraceptive services provided at Title X-supported centers in California helped prevent 259,400 unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in about 128,600 unintended births and 88,500 abortions.
  • The services provided at publicly funded family planning centers in California saved the federal and state governments $1,411,700,000 in 2010.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services

STATE POLICIES

Policy Summary Table, as of July 1st, 2014

ABORTION
Abortion Policy in the Absence of Roe v. Wade
Woman has right to choose abortion to protect her life/health or before viability
Abortion Counseling and Waiting Periods
No policy in effect 
Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions
No policy in effect 
Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion
No policy in effect 
Public Funding of Abortion for Poor Women
State pays for all or most medically necessary abortions
Refusal Clauses for Abortion Services
Medical professionals may refuse
Medical institutions may refuse Religious institutions
ADOLESCENTS
Minors' Consent to Contraceptive Services
All minors explicitly permitted to consent
Minors' Consent to STI Services
All or some minors explicitly permitted to consent Minors 12 years of age and older
Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions
No policy in effect 
Sex Education
Sex education must either stress or cover abstinence Cover
Sex education must cover contraception
State mandates STI/HIV education
STI/HIV education must either stress or cover abstinence Cover
STI/HIV education must cover contraception
CONTRACEPTION SERVICES AND FINANCING
Emergency Contraception in Emergency Rooms
Information must be provided
Medication must be provided on request
Private Insurance Coverage of Contraceptive Services
Insurance coverage mandated
Employers may refuse to provide coverage Religious employers
Medicaid Family Planning Expansions
Eligibility for Medicaid family planning based on income 200% Federal Poverty Level
Contraceptive Access in Pharmacies
Pharmacists or pharmacies must provide contraceptives Pharmacists
Refusal Clauses for Contraceptive Services
No policy in effect 
Minors' Consent to Contraceptive Services
All minors explicitly permitted to consent

For more information, see State Policies in Brief