On Monday, California legislators voted to push forward a constitutional amendment regarding the right to contraception and abortion, meaning the topic will go before voters on the ballot in November.
The amendment would enshrine the right to an abortion and contraceptive measures in the state constitution if voters agree in the fall. The vote doesn’t need Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature, although he is in favor of the move. It is also expected to pass due to many Californians being in favor of keeping Roe v. Wade.
According to a PPIC poll from last year, 77% of adults in California did not want to overturn the Supreme Court case, while 21% did want to overturn it. A majority of Republicans — at 59% — also did not want to overturn the decision, while 89% of Democrats agreed. Across all groups, the majority did not want to see the ruling overturned.
The amendment will further certify the right to abortion in the state, although it is already protected in California law. California’s constitution already has a right to privacy as well.
“California remains steadfast in the right of individuals to access abortion care,” Toni G. Atkins (D), president pro tempore of the state Senate, told The Washington Post. “That’s what we explicitly want to make sure 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 are safe here just because we have a constitution that guarantees a right to privacy — it doesn’t say abortion.”
“California must continue to take every step possible to protect access to abortion,” the California Future of Abortion Council said in a statement, per the Post, saying the effort is “the response needed by our state right now to meet this moment of national crisis.”
In a press release sent to The Daily Wire, the California Family Council said that during speeches on the floor, “multiple Democrats rose to justify why they believed California should deny unborn children equal protection of the law, but legislators refused to answer a pointed question from Assemblyman Kevin Kiley about late-term abortions.”
“SCA 10 is extreme, even for a state like California,” Jonathan Keller, President of the California Family Council, said. “Many people who identify as pro-choice still reject the idea of abortions ending the lives of viable children late in pregnancy.”
“California Family Council plans to work with local, state, and national allies to expose the barbaric nature of this legislation,” the release said.
State lawmakers, especially Newsom, have been pushing to make California a “sanctuary state” for abortion, where women would come to the state for abortion services if the procedure was banned in their state.
After the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey Friday, the governors of Oregon, California, and Washington “issued a Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care,” including abortion and birth control, and “committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to export their abortion bans to our states.”
Newsom pressed that the Supreme Court “want[s] to strip women of their liberty and let Republican states replace it with mandated birth,” saying that the justices want to go back to a time period “when women were not treated as equal citizens under the law.”