Limitless abortion measures were overwhelmingly approved Tuesday in California and Vermont, paving the way to enshrine so-called reproductive rights for women into both state constitutions next year.
In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade earlier this year, the decision to codify abortion went back to the states.
“The biggest battleground and the most significant war that’s taking place in this nation is the demonic murder of children in the womb, and California is leading the way,” Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Pastor Jack Hibbs told The Epoch Times.
So far, approximately 3.5 million California voters have favored Proposition 1, which changes the California Constitution to say that the state cannot deny or interfere with a person’s so-called reproductive freedom and that people have the fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and use contraceptives.
Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who signed 15 abortion-related bills this year with a $200 million state budget included, contributed $3.4 million from his re-election campaign on the measure.
Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, who authored the bill, told The Los Angeles Times that California voters sent a “loud, clear message to those who think they can control our bodies.”
“In California, we will not go backwards,” Atkins said.
Current state law allows women to abort their child before the fetus can survive outside the womb or if the mother’s health is in danger, and further defines the term “perinatal” as “the period from the establishment of pregnancy to one month following delivery.”
California’s Health and Safety Code says babies born alive after a failed abortion should receive the same care as another infant of a similar age, and the code also maintains protections against fetal homicide.
Pro-life groups argue that the measure’s language could allow illegal late-term abortion, attract patients from states where lawmakers have banned or limited abortion, and ultimately place a heavier burden on California taxpayers.
Susan Arnall, vice president of legal affairs at the Right to Life League, told The Epoch Times that Proposition 1 shares the same pro-abortion language as AB 2223, which would protect anyone who kills a baby born alive if the mother agrees with the “pregnancy outcome” and if a baby’s death happened due to “causes that occurred in utero.”
“That is why AB 2223 is the true danger,” Arnall said. “AB 2223 will eliminate California’s current Roe v. Wade era restrictions on abortion, creating an unlimited right to abortion for all nine months of pregnancy, including after the live birth of a baby. It does this with the language ‘perinatal death due to causes that occurred in utero.’ This phrase is vague and totally undefined.”
“AB 2223 will prevent any investigation into the cause of a baby’s death, erasing justice for the unwanted baby born alive,” she added.
Across the nation, Vermont codified abortion in the state’s Constitution.
According to local media, residents supported Proposal 5, which gives individuals a right to so-called personal reproductive autonomy, by a margin of 72%-22%.
While lawmakers and pro-choice activist groups like the ACLU of Vermont, the League of Women Voters of Vermont, Alliance for a Better Vermont, and Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund celebrated the measure’s passage, opposers of the bill said it came as a surprise.
“We knew it was an uphill battle to actually be able to successfully share the truth of what the ramifications of this amendment would be,” Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield, a spokesperson for Vermonters for Good Government, told local media. “I still believe that if Vermonters really understood the implications, they would not have supported it.”
Vermont lawmakers have already legalized abortion in the state without restrictions, and leave regulating it up to medical professionals.
Michigan residents have also decided to protect abortion rights by enshrining them in the state’s Constitution.
Tracey Brame, an associate dean at Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, told local media that lawmakers would move to decide how to define abortion limits given the vagaries of the proposal.
“So part of the criticism of the proposal, of course, has been that it’s extreme, that there are terms in the proposal that expand abortion rights far beyond anything that Roe did, that you won’t need parental consent anymore, that there’ll be partial birth abortion, etc., based on the supposed breadth of the language,” Brame said. “So there’ll certainly be moves almost immediately to define those terms, try to figure out what they mean, and either expand or retract them, depending on your point of view.”