SACRAMENTO – On April 13, 2021, Assembly Bill 925 by Assemblywoman Megan Dahle (R-Bieber) passed out of the California Assembly Public Safety Committee on a vote of 7-0 in support of the bill. The legislation will provide greater reimbursement to providers of Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations. These exams are a critical avenue for justice for victims of sexual assault, but there is currently limited access to them as reimbursement is severely limited, and the exams are time consuming and costly for providers to perform.
“Rural areas suffer especially limited access.” Said Dr. Sean Dugan MD, one of the few providers of Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exams in the North State who works at Shasta Community Health Center. “My clinic covers the territory of seven large counties in the First Assembly District because I am one of the only trained providers in the area. As a result, victims seeking these exams are forced to travel up to three hours in some cases wearing the same clothing in which they were assaulted for multiple days as they await availability for an exam. This is untenable, and providers need greater reimbursement to help address this lack of access.”
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated rates of sexual violence throughout the nation, AB 925 is a critical step towards expanding availability and affordability of these exams.” Said Assemblywoman Dahle. “Not only are they an important avenue for victims to seek justice, but they are also an essential healthcare service. I am excited that this bipartisan issue has been selected as a priority for the Legislative Women’s Caucus this year, providing an opportunity to partner with my colleagues across the aisle to advance this important policy. Access is a statewide problem, but especially magnified in rural areas like those I represent in the First Assembly District.”
AB 925 is supported by the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), along with the Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), and was selected by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus as a policy priority. Assemblywoman Dahle serves on the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which will be the next committee to consider AB 925 this spring.
Assemblywoman Megan Dahle represents the 1st Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes portions of Butte and Placer counties, along with Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties.