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California offers grants to improve safety at reproductive health facilities

California offers grants to improve safety at reproductive health facilities

ABC 30
January 30, 2023
By Amanda Aguilar

 

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — California is investing almost $20 million in the protection of reproductive healthcare services. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced grants are now available to help with safety and security.

The Governor has made it known the State is committed to protecting reproductive freedom, including the right to a safe and legal abortion.

During last year’s November election, voters approved an amendment guaranteeing the right in the state’s constitution.

The State’s Office of Emergency Services also wants to guarantee the safety of those getting reproductive healthcare, or providing it.

The deputy director said reproductive rights remains a hot topic in the United States.

“One of the things that we see in our role as a State Homeland Security Agency is threats, not just to providers and patients, but the communities more widely,” shared Brian Ferguson.

$19 million in grants is available to California reproductive health facilities and physicians.

The money will help fund physical safety enhancements, such as gates or fences — but also digital security enhancements.

“What this will do is provide financial support for those facilities to make investments in their cybersecurity and digital infrastructure footprints to keep the patients’ and the doctors’ information secure online,” Ferguson said.

He added that improving security will allow providers to focus solely on their patients.

“We make investments through grants like this every single day, for things like churches and synagogues,” said Ferguson. “We’re now just extending that same sort of protection to doctors and patients.”

Grant amounts will vary.

Facilities can request up to $500,000. Physicians can request up to $150,000

Applications are available online.

Cal OES will make selections in the coming months, with the money going out by the end of June.

 

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