New California Abortion Laws Set Up Clash With Other States

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed more than a dozen new abortion laws Tuesday, including some that deliberately clash with restrictions in other states — a sign of the coming conflicts that must be sorted out as lawmakers rush to set their own rules now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned.

Most abortions are now illegal in 13 states, and others — including Texas, Oklahoma and Idaho — allow people to sue anyone who performs or aids in an abortion. Meanwhile, Democratic-led states like California, New York and Connecticut have been writing and passing laws to make it easier to get an abortion, with California promoting its abortion services on a state-funded website designed in part to reach women who live in other states.

Conflicts seem inevitable as more people travel for abortions in the coming years, especially with California and Oregon prepared to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to help pay for things like travel, lodging and child care. On Tuesday, Newsom signed a number of laws meant to thwart investigations from other states seeking to prosecute or penalize abortion providers and volunteers in California.

The laws block out-of-state subpoenas, empowering the state insurance commissioner to punish health insurance companies that divulge information about abortions to out-of-state entities. They ban police departments and corporations from cooperating with out-of-state investigations regarding abortions that are legally obtained in California. And they shield prison inmates from other states’ anti-abortion laws.

“An alarming number of states continue to outlaw abortion and criminalize women, and it’s more important than ever to fight like hell for those who need these essential services,” Newsom said in a news release announcing the signings.

If another state tries to apply its laws against someone in California, and California officials say they can’t do that, there is “a lot of gray area as to who is right in that situation,” said Mary Ziegler, the Martin Luther King Jr. professor of law at the University of California, Davis.

“If you are talking about a state applying its criminal laws outside its borders, there’s just not a lot of guidance about how that plays out,” Ziegler said.

It’s not just California. Democratic governors in Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Rhode Island and Maine have all signed executive orders aiming to protect abortion providers and volunteers. Connecticut was the first state to pass a law protecting abortion providers and others, signed in May even before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Newsom this year signed a law that would block the enforcement of some out-of-state court judgments against doctors and volunteers for legally obtained abortions in California — a law anti-abortion activists argue is illegal because of a clause in the U.S. Constitution that requires each state to give “full faith and credit” to the laws of every other state.

California Democrats say the law is legal because federal courts have recognized some exceptions to that clause, including when laws in one state violate the public policy of another state.

Still, the legal uncertainty could end up hindering people who work in the field of abortion, Ziegler said.

“What that would mean is the person from California would have a hard time traveling to a lot of places, especially if the judgment is out against them,” she said.

Public opinion polls have shown a majority of California voters, including Republicans, support abortion protections, making it difficult for opponents to stop such bills from becoming law. Still, California Family Council President Jonathan Keller said the group is “investigating which of these laws are ripe for a court challenge.”

One early candidate: a law that requires religious employers to tell their workers about publicly available abortion services. Keller noted a previous California law that instructed crisis pregnancy centers to tell patients about abortion services was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018.

Newsom is expected this week to sign a law that would authorize as much as $20 million in public spending to help pay for women in other states to come to California for an abortion, something Keller said he and his group are the most concerned about.

“He’s not inviting (women) to get a state-paid trip for labor and delivery if they live in a county or state with poor maternal mortality, instead (he’s) saying you can come here on the taxpayers’ dime, but only if it is to end your pregnancy,” Keller said.

Democratic Assemblymember Cristina Garcia said California’s new laws would save lives, arguing that abortion bans don’t stop abortions but instead lead to “unsafe and deadly abortions for communities of color, low-income communities, trans and other marginalized communities,” adding: “We promise to be a refuge state for anyone seeking an abortion.”

Most of the laws Newsom signed Tuesday were inspired by the California Future of Abortion Council, a group of 46 public officials and abortion rights groups that began planning last year on what to do if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Newsom approved several of the group’s ideas Tuesday, including new laws to let some nurse practitioners perform abortions without a doctor’s permission, establish scholarships for students studying to provide abortions, stop officials from prosecuting women for pregnancy loss and make vasectomies cheaper for men with private insurance.

“California is showing what is possible when leaders listen to experts, facts, science, and from the people who are directly impacted,” said Jodi Hicks, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

But Newsom did not sign every abortion bill into law. Last week, Newsom vetoed a bill that would have paid to train staff at abortion clinics to improve care for marginalized patients. Newsom said he vetoed it because it “creates tens of millions of dollars in General Fund cost pressures not accounted for in the budget.”

Click here to read the full article at AP News

After public outcry, San Clemente rejects anti-abortion ‘sanctuary for life’ resolution

After Public Outcry, San Clemente Rejects Anti-Abortion ‘Sanctuary for Life’ Resolution

Between the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of constitutional protections for abortions and the addition of Proposition 1 on the upcoming ballot in California, a San Clemente councilman said he saw the opportunity for his city to take a stand to “protect the sanctity of life.”

The San Clemente City Council was set to consider a resolution later this month that declares the city a “sanctuary for life where the dignity of every human being will be defended and promoted from life inside the womb through all stages of development in life up and until a natural death.”

But instead, City Council members ultimately hastily called a meeting on Saturday, Aug. 6 in the city’s community center, drawing a crowd of hundreds. Protestors stood on the lawn and an overflow room was made available to those who didn’t fit into the main area. About 50 speakers addressed the council — many calling the proposed resolution abuse of power, overreach, political grandstanding, and far outside the purvey of a city council.

After a nearly three-hour meeting — where Mayor Gene James pounded his gavel several times to restore order — the council ultimately voted 3-1 to remove the resolution from the Aug. 16 City Council agenda. Knoblock was the lone vote against pulling the item, and Councilwoman Laura Ferguson was not present.

“We’ve heard the community from all sides,” said Councilwoman Kathy Ward. “Let’s pull this from the agenda and get back to the business of San Clemente. There’s no need to let this go any further. I didn’t talk about the issues (pro-life, pro-choice) because I don’t believe they belong here. Let’s get back to the business we should be doing.”

If it had remained on the agenda and were passed, the resolution could have led to a follow-up city ordinance that would enforce a ban on abortion procedures within the city limits, said Councilman Steve Knoblock, who authored the resolution. Such an ordinance would run counter to state law. But Knoblock said he wanted San Clemente’s resolution to send a message “recognizing the full humanity of the pre-born life and human life and to protect and defend that.”

“We know since Roe vs. Wade, 62 million deaths occurred,” he said. “That’s a stack of babies 4,000 times higher than the Empire State building. The purpose of government is to protect life.”

A draft of Knoblock’s resolution said the City Council “considers life to begin at conception” and “stands against the establishment of Planned Parenthood health centers or any other clinics where abortions are performed.”

Such a resolution, however, would simply reflect an opinion by a majority on the city council. It’s unclear if the city can ban a provider of a legal health service. The closest Planned Parenthood clinic to San Clemente is in Mission Viejo, a few miles up the 5 freeway.

The resolution — scheduled for discussion by a council comprised of two women and three men — didn’t have language on enforcement. But it could have signaled official city support for a later ban on abortions except in cases where the mother’s life is at stake or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

Ahead of Saturday’s meeting, San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan said the resolution caused concern within the community. He said this topic has drawn more email responses from residents than any other that he’s handled during his two years on the council. Most of that communication has been against the proposed resolution.

“I don’t think the majority of residents in San Clemente … want government taking away their long-held rights to control their body,” said Duncan, a Democrat running to represent the 74th Assembly District. “We saw that with the vote in Kansas the other day.”

National abortion fight gets local

The back-and-forth in San Clemente is part of a larger national conversation that’s grown louder since June, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and left the issue of abortion to individual states. Since then, at least 13 states have moved to ban or restrict the procedure, with more expected to do so by the end of this year. Many other states, including California, have passed laws to expand access to abortion and back a woman’s right to choose.

Earlier this week, voters in Kansas — a state that preferred Donald Trump over Joe Biden in the 2020 election by about 15 points — overwhelmingly chose to uphold abortion rights protections in the state constitution.

“This vote makes clear what we know: The majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions,” President Joe Biden said on Wednesday, Aug. 3, a day after the vote in Kansas.

Knoblock said he hasn’t paid attention to what other groups or states are doing about abortion but, as a public servant, he believes he should bring the discussion forward. He added that he’s particularly concerned about Proposition 1, which if approved by state voters in November, would prohibit anyone in California from denying or interfering with a person’s reproductive health care, including any decision a person might make about abortion and contraception.

‘All it takes is one city’ 

Should San Clemente have declared itself a “sanctuary for life,” it wouldn’t be the first to do so. In fact, several dozen cities, working with Right to Life of East Texas, have passed ordinances that outlaw abortion procedures within city limits. Still others have passed resolutions.

Texas is among the states banning abortion. The state also has passed rules that allow citizens to sue clinics or anyone else who “aids or abets” a legal abortion outside of Texas.

According to Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, 50 cities — mostly in Texas — have passed ordinances banning abortion.

“Cities should do everything in their power to protect residents of their communities — both the born and the unborn,” Dickson said in an email.

“In the same breath, cities must also be smart about the laws they enact to protect their residents,” he said, advocating for an enforceable ordinance over a resolution.

“Gov. Newsom has been very clear that he wants California to be a sanctuary for abortion access,” Dickson added.

“This leaves the people of California who believe in protecting innocent human life having to make a decision: Will San Clemente be a ‘sanctuary for abortion,’ or will the good people of San Clemente do everything in their power to fight against it? All it takes is one city who is willing to go first. All it takes is one city which fears God more than they fear Gov. Newsom.”

San Clemente’s draft resolution did, in fact, invoke religion.

“We believe that life is God-ordained and God is the author and finisher of every life,” the resolution said. “No matter if at the beginning or at the end. We stand in agreement that, as a City Council, we will protect and sustain life at every stage. As we ask God to bless America, we first have to honor and respect God. We feel that we do both by protecting life and passing this resolution.”

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Proposition 1 Will Constitutionally Protect Abortion Up Until the Moment of Birth

In November, you’ll be asked if you want to dramatically change California’s abortion laws to allow a baby to be aborted right up until the minute before that baby is born.

Right now, a woman can have an abortion in California up to the point where the baby can survive outside the womb or is “viable.”  Viability has been the standard for decades.

Based on polling, it is likely most Californians are comfortable with that viability standard. But legislative Democrats are testing how far voters are willing to go to allow legal abortions up to a baby’s due date.

That’s what will be on the ballot this November in California with Proposition 1.

How did we get here?

Much has been said about the recent 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that reversed previous court rulings and found that there was not a federal constitutional right to have an abortion. The court ultimately concluded: “Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion.” With that decision, determining public policy around the issue of abortion has been returned to each of the 50 states.

State responses — like the people who live in them — are wide, varied and diverse. According to a Gallup Organization survey of the opinions of Americans on the issue taken in late May of 2022, 35% said abortion should be legal under all circumstances, 18% said legal under most circumstances, 32% said legal only in a few circumstances and 13% said all abortions should be illegal.

In other words, fully half of Americans chart a middle course on this issue. On the football field of politics, most Americans find themselves between the 35-yard lines.

California’s approach, though, puts us next to the progressive goal line. As a practical matter, the decision in Dobbs and the overturning of Roe v. Wade has no effect on abortion rights in California. Up until viability (generally regarded as 24 weeks into a 40-week pregnancy), women can obtain abortions for any reason. The state subsidizes the procedure and has passed laws encouraging “abortion tourism.”

But the modest restriction precluding abortion after viability (unless done for the health of the mother) would be eliminated if voters pass a constitutional amendment that has been placed before us by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature.

Proposition 1 on the California ballot would place these words into the state constitution: “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.”

With the passage of this amendment, abortion in California would become legal until the moment of birth. The explicit language in this amendment could not be clearer and provides no exceptions or restrictions on a right to an abortion. This is the most extreme position that could be taken on this issue.

Why is Proposition 1 even on the ballot? It represents a convergence of two interests. Pro-abortion extremists want to not only ensure abortion is legal in California until birth, while guaranteeing that at no time in the future can laws on abortion access be reduced. Progressives would also like to shift the debate away from issues like cost of living, high gas prices or rising crime ahead of the election.

Read the entire article in the OC Register

Does the Legislature know What It’s Doing With The Abortion Amendment?

At the urging of Governor Gavin Newsom, the California legislature is rushing a constitutional amendment to the November ballot that would create a fundamental right to choose an abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

Once it is on the November ballot, it needs only a simple majority to pass, and then there will be a fundamental constitutional right to choose a late-term abortion in California.

Senator Melissa Melendez sought to clarify the issue during the Senate floor debate on June 20. “Does this constitutional amendment place any restrictions on when a woman can get an abortion?” she asked Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, who along with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is the principal author of SCA 10.

“It is consistent with current California law, so what exists today is as it would be. It is between the doctor and the client, the patient,” Atkins answered.

Melendez wondered “where in the bill it would be very clear, should this go to a court, that it is to coincide with current state law.”

Atkins responded, “It’s as simple, it’s simply stated: abortion, right to contraception, it doesn’t change practice in California. That is between a doctor, and the patient.”

But Atkins is contradicted by the bill analysis prepared for the Senate, which states that current law in California “provides that the state may not deny or interfere with a person’s right to choose or obtain an abortion prior to viability of the fetus or when the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the person.”

Here is the exact language of current law, in Health and Safety Code Section 123462(c): “The state shall not deny or interfere with a woman’s fundamental right to choose to bear a child or to choose to obtain an abortion, except as specifically permitted by this article.”

And here’s the “except” language, in Section 123466: “The state may not deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose or obtain an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, or when the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.”

SCA 10 says this instead: “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.”

The California Catholic Conference issued a statement of opposition to the bill that included this sentence: “We are extremely troubled by the language in SCA 10, which is so broad and unrestrictive that it would encourage and protect even late-term abortions, which most Californians oppose.”

A constitutional amendment overrides any law that conflicts with it. If SCA 10 is adopted, the “except” language in current law could be interpreted by a court as an unconstitutional infringement of the “fundamental right to choose to have an abortion.”

Even the strongest pro-choice advocates should think this through very carefully.

What if doctors or hospitals refuse to perform the procedure late in pregnancy? Could they be sued for denying a fundamental right? Would the state take action to penalize unwilling providers? Will malpractice insurance rates be affected? Will more doctors leave California or stop practicing?

Will private insurance policies be required to cover late-term abortion? Will taxpayer-paid health insurance pay for it?

What happens if a federal court finds that someone has standing to sue on behalf of a nearly full-term fetus and a lawsuit goes forward to block an abortion or challenge California’s new constitutional provision? Could such a case lead to a landmark Supreme Court ruling declaring that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right to be born?

And then what?

Then we’re right back where we started, in a national war over future nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Understand that SCA 10 is completely unnecessary to protect current law in California. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade frees the states to make their own laws and regulations concerning abortion. California has already done that. Without SCA 10, the right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability or to protect the life or health of the mother will still be the law of the land in California.

Why are the governor and more than two-thirds of state lawmakers so intent on getting SCA 10 on the ballot this fall?

The answer is in the polling data. It’s all about motivating the independent “swing” voters who decide close elections to turn out and vote this fall.

A poll by the Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research at UC San Diego asked registered California voters how likely it is that they will vote in the November election. Then the pollsters showed the voters a May 7 Newsweek article headlined, “National Abortion Ban Possible if Roe v. Wade Overturned: Mitch McConnell.”

The pollsters found that “the percentage of independents definitely planning to vote when asked at the beginning of the survey was 45.9%; this rose to 57.1% among those who read about a potential abortion ban.”

Click here to read read the full article at the OC Register

San Francisco Archbishop Bars Nancy Pelosi from Communion Over Abortion Stance

San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archbishop has banned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from receiving Holy Communion during Mass until she repents of her public pro-abortion stance. 

“A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others,” Ssalvatore Cordileone wrote in a public notification Friday. “Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.’”

“I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” the 65-year-old clergyman wrote.

Cordileone noted that while he and Pelosi had discussed the issue in the past, the archbishop has “not received such an accommodation to my many requests” to speak again following the September passage of a controversial Texas abortion law which bans abortions after a heart beat is detected – usually at six weeks. 

At that time, Pelosi vowed to codify the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling into federal law.

In recent weeks, Pelosi has doubled down on that stance in light of a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that indicated Roe will be overturned later this year. 

The archbishop noted that he will “continue to offer up prayer and fasting” for the Speaker in the coming weeks.

Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

It is not the first time Catholic clergy have sought to prevent Catholic pro-abortion lawmakers from receiving sacramental wine and bread, which church doctrine holds becomes the literal blood and body of Jesus.

While on the campaign trial, a South Carolina priest denied Communion to then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden due to his pro-abortion views. 

Not long after, Archbishop Charles Chaput, the former head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, opined that Biden should be blocked altogether for “creating the impression that the moral laws of the Church are optional.” 

Click here to read the full article in the NY Post

Newsom Announces Plan to Lure Businesses to California From States That Ban Abortion

California Gov. Gavin Newsom previewed a plan to lure businesses to California from states that ban abortion on Wednesday, as well as new proposed spending on abortions.

Newsom said his plan aims to “solidify California’s leadership on abortion rights.”

“California will not stand idly by as extremists roll back our basic constitutional rights,” he wrote in a statement. “We’re going to fight like hell, making sure that all women — not just those in California — know that this state continues to recognize and protect their fundamental rights.”

The governor’s office said Newsom wants to update California’s business incentive programs to give special consideration to companies leaving states with anti-abortion or anti-LGBT laws. California currently offers hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks for businesses, including $180 million for a program called California Competes, which aims to attract and retain businesses in the Golden State.

Newsom’s office wouldn’t say which incentive programs would be affected. Spokesman Alex Stack said Newsom would give more details on Friday, when he unveils his full revised budget plan.

Newsom is also proposing to add $40 million to cover abortions for people who don’t have insurance coverage for the procedure and $15 million for reproductive health organizations.

Newsom’s initial plan for the 2022-23 budget, which he announced in January, already proposed $68 million in new spending to expand reproductive care. The issue has taken on new urgency since Politico published a leaked draft opinion that revealed the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

California, where Democrats control both houses of the Legislature, will continue to allow abortions even if the Court overturns Roe. But many other states will ban the procedure, meaning California will see an influx of women seeking abortions.

State lawmakers are already considering bills that aim to help people who travel to California for abortions and shield them from prosecution in their home states.

Click here to read the full article at the SF Chronicle

Pelosi: Is Newsom ‘Unaware’ of Democrats’ Fight for Abortion Rights?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday appeared miffed Sunday that Gov. Gavin Newsom, her fellow California Democrat, would accuse the Democratic Party of being too passive on abortion rights.

“I have no idea why anybody would make that statement unless they were unaware of the fight that has been going on,” Pelosi said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” after viewing a clip of Newsom criticizing his own party after news last Monday that the Supreme Court appeared on track to toss out the guaranteed right to abortion. Newsom, in public exasperation, complained: “Where is the Democratic Party? Where’s the party?… We need to stand up. Where’s the counteroffensive?”

Speaking from San Francisco, the city both she and Newsom are from, Pelosi said that she personally has been battling for abortion rights in Congress for decades.

“We have been fighting against the Republicans in the Congress constantly,” she said.

In the wake of the leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade, Newsom has said he hopes to make California an abortion sanctuary for women from other states and to enshrine the right to an abortion in the state Constitution.

Pelosi said the threat to Roe places an additional urgency on the midterm elections, including in the Senate, where a stronger Democratic hold would give the party a chance to make procedural changes.

“Two more — one or two more senators — could sweep back the filibuster rule for this purpose, and then women would have a right to choose,” she said. “This is about something so serious and so personal and so disrespectful of women. Here we are on Mother’s Day, a week where the court has slapped women in the face in terms of disrespect for their judgments about the size and timing of their families.”

Click here to read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle

California Democrats Lean Into Abortion Rights As ‘Defining Issue’

When a draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn the constitutional right to abortion leaked Monday night, Democratic leaders in California reacted swiftly with shock, grief and fury.

It didn’t take long for the personal devastation to turn political.

By Wednesday morning, Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is running for re-election this year, had already cut a new campaign ad about “reproductive freedom under attack.” In a tweet unveiling the ad, he framed defeating “anti-choice Republicans” as the “defining issue of the 2022 election.”

As the stark reality has sunk in that the landmark Roe v. Wade decision is unlikely to make it to its 50th birthday, many Democrats are leaning forcefully into abortion rights as a key election issue. With decades of public polling indicating that a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, it could be the party’s most potent counterweight in a campaign cycle in which Republicans seem poised to capitalize on voter frustration over inflation and crime.

“Don’t think for a second this is where they stop,” Newsom said Wednesday outside Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, where he raised the alarm that conservatives would also seek to roll back other rights such as same-sex marriage. “Pay attention, America. They’re coming after you next.”

In his remarks, Newsom called for a stronger Democratic counteroffensive on protecting abortion. He slammed Republicans for claiming to be pro-life while opposing policies to provide more support to women and families after a baby is born, previewing a political attack that could soon be coming to swing districts across the country.

“That’s how extreme the Republican Party is in the United States of America. You want extremism? Rape and incest, they don’t even make an exception,” Newsom said. “Wake up, America. Wake up to who you’re electing.”

Democrats, weighed down by sagging approval ratings for President Joe Biden and in danger of losing control of Congress in the November midterm election, have been struggling to find a message that might motivate liberal voters to show up to the polls and persuade moderates to stick with their governance.

Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, said the reality of a Supreme Court ruling against abortion rights could provide a significant boost. Though warnings about that potential outcome have not historically driven turnout for Democrats while the Roe decision withstood decades of attacks, Pitney said voters are much more alert to loss.

“The issue has moved from the realm of the hypothetical to the realm of the real,” he said.

And it could remain near the top of the news through the rest of the year, with the official opinion expected this summer and then potentially dozens of states passing new abortion restrictions after that.

“It’s kind of like a wildfire, and the burning embers and debris will spread over the electorate for months to come,” Pitney said.

Still, it is uncertain how much of a difference abortion can make for Democrats, who are facing significant political headwinds nationally from pocketbook issues such as spiraling inflation and high gas prices.

While probably not potent enough to shift the balance of power, Pitney said abortion could move the margins in close races with national implications, such as the contests for U.S. Senate in Georgia and Wisconsin. Some Republicans are already planning to push for a nationwide abortion ban should the GOP win complete control of the federal government in the next few years. The ruling, Pitney added, might also help Democrats regain some ground with young voters, who have particularly soured on Biden.

There is probably less of a potential impact in California, where Democrats have nearly maximized their power at every level of government.

Beth Miller, a Republican political consultant, said Californians who are motivated by abortion rights are already quite engaged politically. She is skeptical that it will bring new or infrequent voters the the polls, especially when abortion access is not under immediate threat here.

“The overriding issue in California is the cost of living,” Miller said.

But California Democrats are quickly elevating abortion to the forefront of their messaging anyway, with some even fundraising off the news that Roe v. Wade may be overturned. More than 70% of Californians oppose repealing the ruling, according to a poll this year by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Click here to read the full article at CalMatters

Marchers for Life Vow to Continue Fight Even If Roe Overturned: ‘Abortion Won’t Go Away’

Thousands of pro-life demonstrators converged on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. Friday for the 49th annual March for Life with a collective conviction and commitment to defeating abortion in their lifetime.

Given the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, many protestors were filled with optimism that Roe v. Wade, the hallmark decision that legalized abortion nationally, would be overturned in the coming judicial season. In that event, the abortion issue would return to the state legislatures. That has begged the question: what will become of the March for Life if Roe is reversed?

The consensus among those whom National Review interviewed, including former Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker, is that the fight to defend the unborn would be far from over.

“I think the march would continue because there will be momentum to put pressure on policy makers to create a constitutional amendment. We’ve got to work together nationally to make sure there’s good legislation in the states to protect the sanctity of life,” he said.

“For so long we focused on the court of law, we’ve got to shift to the court of public opinion,” he added.

State legislative races will become increasingly crucial, he noted. Walker mentioned California’s latest policy promise to subsidize abortions for out-of-state residents if Roe is dismantled as an example of the work cut out for the pro-life movement even if it scores a victory at the Supreme Court.

“In many states it would be a matter of affirming what’s already on the books and making sure lawmakers and governors don’t backtrack on that,” he said. “But then you hear about Gavin Newsom not only maintaining abortion all the way through birth but actually providing financial resources for other people to come in from other states to receive abortions.”

Walker said he believes the current Supreme Court will overturn Roe and that “it’s very likely that Dobbs [v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] will be the vehicle.”

The bench recently heard oral arguments on Dobbs, which deals with a challenge to a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. The case naturally forces the court to revisit the standard of fetal viability, established as 23–26 weeks under Roe, potentially prompting a repeal of the original ruling.

“These justices have shown that they want to go back to the Founding principles and to what’s actually stated in the Constitution, not implied,” he said.

Some law scholars have contended that Roe stands on precarious legal foundations because it invented a “right to privacy” not enumerated in the Constitution.

At the march, Michael Nolan of the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend said that Roe’s undoing will not end abortion, so advocates against it will still need to bring their voices to Washington.

“The cause is so foundational to who we are as human beings. I think because this is the national identity right here, I think the march will continue. If the issue goes back to the states abortion won’t go away. The life movement will still meet here,” Nolan said, adding that he’s confident the 1973 ruling will be struck down eventually.

Click here to read the full article at the National Review

California Lawmakers, Abortion Proponents Unveil Plan To Create Abortion Sanctuary State

Recommendations include funding abortion groups, funding support infrastructure at abortion clinics, improving Medi-Cal abortion policies

Dozens of California abortion clinics, pro-abortion groups, and lawmakers in favor of abortion presented a plan Wednesday to make California a sanctuary state for those wanting abortions in case the landmark Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court next year.

Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that women have the right to an abortion without state interference within the first trimester of a pregnancy. Despite a few challenges and alteration challenges in the last 48 years, the wording was only changed once. 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey changed the first trimester wording to fetal viability. Since then, it has been worded as “A person may choose to have an abortion until a fetus becomes viable, based on the right to privacy contained in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Viability means the ability to live outside the womb, which usually happens between 24 and 28 weeks after conception.”

However, in recent years, a number of states have passed restrictive abortion laws, such as the Texas Heartbeart Act, which virtually ends nearly all abortions in the state after six weeks due to a detected heartbeat. Another case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenges a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortions after 15 weeks.

The Supreme Court also reached a definitive conservative majority last year following Amy Coney Barrett being confirmed as the next Justice in place of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had died in October 2020.

Now, with the Supreme Court giving indications that they would rule in favor of the state and ban abortions once again to some degree in the Dobbs case, with the most likely outcome kicking abortion laws back to the states, Californian abortion supporters are now putting a plan in place to welcome the influx of women seeking a legal abortion.

According to a report by the California Future of Abortion Council, 26 states would likely see abortion bans if Roe v. Wade is overturned, including Texas, Utah, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Florida. As California has a large number of reproductive clinics and a mostly non-harassment environment from protestors, the number of women estimated to come to California for abortions will go from the current 46,000 a year to 1.4 million a year, with the largest number likely to come from Arizona.

However, California abortion and reproductive care currently has many barriers for women seeking treatment coming from outside the state, including the long drive times to the state, high costs for things such as co-pays and deductibles, and difficulty in finding more specialized providers. An influx of Texas patients this year in California due to the new Texas law highlighted highlighted the potential issues of a sudden influx, and showed the areas where California needs improvement. With demand likely to go up by astronomical numbers should Roe v. Wade falls, California abortion groups and lawmakers started coming up with a plan on Wednesday to address this issue.

California’s sanctuary state plans

The California Future of Abortion Council’s report specifically has 45 recommendations for the state in a sanctuary capacity, including funding many abortion groups to provide care, funding support infrastructure at abortion clinics, improving Medi-Cal abortion policies, give more protections to those seeking abortions, and even help fund travel, lodging, and procedure costs for those otherwise unable to afford the procedure. The recommendations, written largely by abortion provider experts and lawmakers, such as Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego),

“We’re looking at how to build capacity and build workforce,” noted Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California CEO Jodi Hicks on Wednesday. “It will take a partnership and investment with the state.”

However, those opposing abortion in California plan to push back against those recommendations should they be enacted.

“We know that we aren’t going to get California to ban abortion should Roe be overturned,” explained Kathy Weber, a San Bernardino County anti-abortion group leader who assists women who choose to give birth after previously wanting an abortion. “Not the way the state is now. But we can try and stop the state from outright paying people to come here or to loosen laws here even more.”

“But it has been hard recently, especially with the Texas surge of people coming into California for abortions. When neighboring states get bans and California getting this huge influx as sort as an abortion-vacation destination like how many Americans go to Mexico to get dental work, this will be a big problem.”

“We don’t want California’s new growth industry to be abortion clinics.”

Proponents of the recommendations are currently eyeing multiple funding sources, including the state’s projected $31 billion surplus, for next year.

This article was originally published by the California Globe