California to vote on constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights
The bill introducing the proposed amendment easily passed the state legislature, where Democrats hold a supermajority, and voters will now consider it in the general election. A large majority of Californians said they opposed the reversal deer, and the amendment should pass. It does not require the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who supports the measure.
If passed, the amendment would affirm abortion rights already protected by existing law. California’s constitution, like those of several other states, includes a right to privacy that the courts have interpreted as protecting abortion. But the draft notice leaked last month from deer ruling prompted lawmakers to clearly articulate a guarantee for reproductive rights.
“California remains committed to the right of individuals to access abortion care,” Toni G. Atkins (D), president pro tempore of the state Senate, said in an interview. “That’s what we explicitly want to make sure that continues to be the case, no matter who’s in office, no matter who the judge is. … I don’t want people to think we’re safe here just because we have a constitution that guarantees the right to privacy – it doesn’t say abortion.
Roe’s disappearance marks another milestone in state-by-state battle over abortion
The California Future of Abortion Council, an alliance of abortion rights groups, applauded Monday’s vote.
“California must continue to take all possible steps to protect abortion access,” the alliance said in a statement, calling the effort “the response our state needs right now to address the this moment of national crisis”.
A similar constitutional amendment will also appear on ballots in Vermont, the first state to introduce such a proposal.
Along with the amendment, California leaders recently announced a number of initiatives aimed at counterbalancing the Supreme Court’s ruling and increasingly aggressive efforts by conservative states to restrict access to abortion.
California’s proposed budget for next year includes more than $200 million for reproductive health services. And on Friday, Newsom enacted legal protections for abortion providers who care for patients traveling from places where the procedure is now banned. He also announced a partnership with Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Oregon Governor Kate Brown to turn the West Coast into a safe haven for abortion care, promising to protect patients and providers from civil lawsuits. and criminal out-of-state.
“This is not the America we know,” Newsom said after the deer decision has been made. “And that’s not the California way.”
California currently has some of the most protective abortion policies, advocates say, and local leaders have been preparing for months for an influx of patients from other states in a post-deer world, where anti-abortion legislation will affect about half of the country. Between 8,000 and 16,000 more people will travel to California for abortion care each year due to the new restrictions, a statistical model from UCLA’s Center on Reproductive Health, Law and Policy predicted. Most will likely flock to Los Angeles County.
In Los Angeles over the weekend, hundreds of protesters marched through downtown, from City Hall to a freeway off-ramp, carrying signs that read “Give Up Court” and “The bodily autonomy is a human right. The furious protests, which took place across the state, underscored the broad support for abortion rights in California. In a survey last year, the Public Policy Institute of California found that 77% of adults did not want deer overthrown, including nearly 60% of Republicans polled.
Still, several lawmakers, religious groups and advocacy organizations celebrated the court’s decision — and denounced the proposed constitutional amendment.
California Family Council, a Fresno-based anti-abortion group, filed an argument opposing the bill, writing, “Life is a human right for every life, regardless of size or stage of development. Equality begins in the womb and this bill completely ignores that fact. After the legislature voted to add the issue to the November ballot, council chairman Jonathan Keller said in a statement that it was “extreme, even for a state like California.”
Abortion is now prohibited in these states. Others will follow.
Republican Assembly Leader James Gallagher – a father of four, including twins born 10 weeks earlier – argued in a speech on the floor ahead of the vote that the proposed amendment does not impose restrictions on late-term abortions, a claim that supporters of the bill have rebuffed. , saying it doesn’t change the state’s current fetal viability law.
“They were alive and they were a person – they are people – and our law needs to start recognizing that,” Gallagher said of her twins. “And that’s why I can’t support this constitutional amendment today, because of what it’s missing: it doesn’t say anything about their rights.”
Atkins, the lawmaker who introduced the bill, ran a reproductive health center in San Diego before her public service career, and she said the amendment should telegraph to the state and country that California is committed to ensuring access to reproductive care.
“As someone who’s been in the trenches, who’s watched it, it’s an affirmation of our values and an affirmation of a peace of mind” for those seeking an abortion, Atkins said, regardless where they live.
“We will be there if others come,” she added. “And others are already coming.”