California’s Assembly Bill 1030, designed to inform female patients about what to expect during pelvic examinations and enable them to identify illegal predatory behavior, sailed through the Assembly committees, the Assembly floor and the Senate committees unanimously — seemingly on its way to becoming law.
Then Planned Parenthood submitted a letter of opposition: The bill, introduced this spring, immediately stalled and, two weeks later, was ordered to the “inactive” file.
A.B. 1030 was written in the wake of last year’s allegations against Dr. George Tyndall, who worked as a gynecologist at the University of Southern California (USC) for almost 30 years. His former patients, many of whom were young students who had never had a gynecological exam before and did not know what a pelvic exam properly entails, said that he abused them while leading them to believe that his conduct was medically necessary.
“A.B. 1030 will empower patients by giving them much needed information,” the bill’s author, Majority Leader Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, said in an April press release. “I am thankful to my constituent Christy Leach who met with our office last year to share this bill idea. Given recent horrific incidents of abuse during these exams, it has become apparent that patients would benefit from advance information about what to expect during a gynecological pelvic exam.”
Leach is one of the more than 700 women who have reported being abused by Tyndall after allegations against him first became public last year. He was responsible for thousands of patients over the course of his career at the university and is currently charged with 29 felony charges relating to sexual assault. In June, USC agreed to pay $215 million to former patients of Tyndall to settle a class-action lawsuit they had filed.
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