The nation’s first and only Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health has held its first hearing.

The committee is comprised of four women and three men who are members of the Assembly. The chairperson, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, represents the 16th Assembly District, including the Valley. All are Democrats.

Bauer-Kahan invited a number of Assembly Republicans to join the Select Committee, extending the invitation personally or at the staff-to-staff level, but all of them declined, said Jordan Curley, Bauer-Kahan’s Chief of Staff.

The hearing, held June 26 in Sacramento, focused on the state’s unmet reproductive health needs, according to a news release from Bauer-Kahan’s office.

California has continued to protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care, but the overall landscape of related issues nationally impacts California, said Bauer-Kahan.

“From addressing rural access and the statewide Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) epidemic, to keeping patients safe and helping immigrants access health care, we still have work to do. Today’s hearing helped move that conversation forward,” said Bauer-Kahan.

“The researchers, providers, and patients who spoke clearly laid out the growing void and barriers to care that we must address, but also provided key insight into how the Legislature can continue to support reproductive health care in California,” stated Bauer-Kahan.

Stacy Cross, CEO/President of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, located in San Jose, said, “As Planned Parenthood continues to fight back against those who wish to take our country backwards, we reaffirm our commitment to breaking down barriers to care and providing expert, high-quality health care to everyone who comes through our doors—no matter what.”

The Select Committee will hold additional hearings throughout the year to examine other sexual and reproductive health care issues.