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Mandatory Doctor Training For Trans, Nonbinary Pregnancies Bill Proposed In California

Mandatory Doctor Training For Trans, Nonbinary Pregnancies Bill Proposed In California

California senators have proposed that all individuals participating in prenatal and perinatal care undergo implicit bias training every two years, which includes recognizing all birthing people, including nonbinary folks and those with transgender experience.

AB 2319, proposed by Assemblymembers Lori Wilson and Akilah Weber, imposes fines of $10,000 for the initial infraction and $25,000 for each successive violation on healthcare institutions with non-compliant providers.

Additionally, these facilities would be listed on a state website. A fine will be imposed for not submitting compliance documents for all necessary individuals who do not complete the training, which encompasses licensed doctors, nurses, and other staff members who may come into contact with perinatal patients.

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The measure proposes to include a statement in the state’s health and safety code acknowledging all individuals who give birth, including nonbinary individuals and those with transgender identities.

AB 2319 expands on SB 464, which acknowledged that “implicit bias is a significant factor contributing to health disparities in communities of color” and mandated that perinatal and prenatal healthcare providers undergo implicit bias training biennially.

The California Department of Justice initiated an investigation on the level of compliance with SB 464, a law enacted in 2019, despite the absence of a specified penalty for non-compliance. At the beginning of the 2021 inquiry, the CADOJ discovered that compliance was only 17%. After 10 months of CADOJ investigation and outreach, compliance increased to 81%.

AB 2319 seems to prioritize ensuring that facilities comply with SB 464 by introducing a system for enforcement through fines and public listing of non-compliant institutions, notwithstanding the growing attention towards transgender and nonbinary individuals.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta stated that race still has a role in maternal health and newborn death rates, not only in California but nationwide, in reference to AB 2310. “Collectively, we have achieved significant advancements and must persist in confronting healthcare prejudice directly.” Today’s law aims to bring about significant change in a system that has traditionally not met the needs of mothers and babies, particularly those from minority groups.

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As to a 2023 study from the California Department of Public Health referenced in Bonta’s comments, black women aged 35 and older are 4.6 times more likely than the whole population of California women to die from pregnancy-related reasons.

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