Just hours after a leaked copy of a possible Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade was published, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s top legislative leaders said they would seek voter approval to make abortions a constitutional right in California.
On Thursday, Democrats in the state Legislature fast-tracked a bill that would block other states’ laws from imposing civil or criminal penalties on people who provide or aid abortions in California, setting up another likely prolonged legal fight over state sovereignty.
The California Legislative Women’s Caucus has asked Newsom for $20 million to help pay for women from other states where abortion would be outlawed to come to California for the procedure — a sum the governor could announce in his revised budget proposal next week.
The Democrats who control all levers of power in state government have written 13 bills that would authorize more medical providers to perform abortions, create scholarships for reproductive care doctors, block other states from accessing some California medical records, and create a fund for taxpayer money to help pay for women in states where abortion is illegal to come to California to get the procedure. A measure that makes abortions cheaper by banning co-pays and deductibles has already been signed into law.
Meanwhile, abortion providers are busy hiring more doctors and adding space to receive a predicted surge in patients. Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the nation’s largest Planned Parenthood affiliate, is renovating and building new facilities in Oakland, San Jose, Fresno, Visalia and Reno, Nevada. When they’re finished, it will boost their capacity from 200 to 500 patients per week.