California has become the first state to outlaw “stealthing,” removing a condom without consent during sex.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the bill, which amends the state’s civil definition of sexual battery, into law on Thursday.

Newsom’s office tweeted: “By passing this bill, we are underlining the importance of consent.”

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D) sponsored the bill, claiming it would allow victims to hold perpetrators accountable.

“I’m proud that California was the first in the nation to get this done,” Garcia stated. “But also I have a sense of urgency to see other state legislatures pass similar bills so it’s clear, across all of these states, that stealthing is not just immoral but illegal.”

Alexandra Brodsky, a lawyer, raised the idea that stealthing should be criminalized in a Yale University study in 2017.

“There are many survivors who do not want to see the person who hurt them in prison and could really use help covering medical debt or could use help having the resources to see a therapist,” Brodsky said.

After reading the study, Garcia decided to fight for legislation to criminalize this act of sexual battery. “Seeing this topic go from a young woman’s master’s thesis to now, you know, a global mainstream discussion is really the exciting part,” she said. “This bill is allowing us to have a discussion about consent in our homes and our schools and in our relationships.”

Garcia also said that the bill is a “good first step” to eventually adding stealthing to the state’s criminal code.

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