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California Abortion Council Unveils Plans to Become An Abortion ‘Sanctuary’

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

A California coalition of over 40 abortion clinics and advocacy groups released a report of “recommendations” for the state to consider to expand abortion access in the event the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. 

The coalition, the California Future of Abortion Council, is, as I covered, working with lawmakers to boost the state’s “abortion infrastructure.” The recommendations would help the state “strengthen” and expand abortion access to accommodate more out-of-state patients where abortion will likely be outlawed if Roe is overturned.

“It is imperative that California take the lead, live up to its proclamation as a ‘Reproductive Freedom State,’ and be ready to serve anyone who seeks abortion services in the state,” the recommendation list states. "We are releasing the following Recommendations to Protect, Strengthen, and Expand Abortion Services in California – a list of legislative, executive, and administrative actions for state policymakers to implement in order to meet the needs of people seeking abortions.”

Included in the report are recommendations for increased funding, and public spending, toward abortion services and support for patients traveling to the state to obtain an abortion, the AP reported. This would include travel expenses such as gas, lodging, and child care.

“California already pays for abortions for many low-income residents through the state’s Medicaid program. And California is one of six states that require private insurance companies to cover abortions, although many patients still end up paying deductibles and co-payments,” the AP noted in their report.

In an interview with AP, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said that some of the report’s details will be included in his budget proposal in January.

“We’ll be a sanctuary,” Newsom said in the interview, adding that he’s aware that more out-of-state patients will travel to California for abortions. “We are looking for ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections.”

On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which surrounds the constitutionality of a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi. In Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s amicus brief, she asked the Court to overturn Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Roe and Casey are egregiously wrong. The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition,” Fitch said in the brief. “So the question becomes whether this Court should overrule those decisions. It should.”

If Roe is overturned, the AP notes that “more than two dozen states” will ban abortion outright.

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