We're constantly reading about the states that are making things harder for women—whether from strict abortion legislation, limited access to birth control, or large wage gaps. While there is still so much to be done, we have seen some victories lately (Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama have all struck down legislation that would have limited a woman's access to abortion services) and tons of progress has been made in California.
The California state legislature has done serious work towards enhancing the lives of women throughout their last session. While Governor Jerry Brown has the final say on these pieces of legislation—his veto can make them disappear—if they pass, the changes below are incredible changes that Californian women can look forward to.
1. A timeline for processing rape kits will be put in place. This will help to ensure swift justice for rape victims.
2. The sterilization of prison inmates will become illegal.How this was ever legal is appalling.
3. State airports will have to have a private and clean space for new mothers to breastfeed or pump breast milk. So long, bathroom stall!
4. As we reported a few weeks ago, colleges will be required to have "affirmative consent" language included in their sexual assault policies. This means that "she never said no" is no longer a defense for alleged violaters of sexual assault.
5. Pregnant graduate students will be able to complete their degrees with greater ease. Because completing an advanced degree when you're expecting a baby is hard enough.