Gov. Gavin Newsom launches ads to fight abortion travel bans

The multistate campaign will launch Monday with a TV commercial about a measure under consideration in Tennessee.

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday announced an advertising campaign to combat proposals in several Republican-controlled states to prohibit out-of-state travel for abortions and other reproductive care.

The multistate ad campaign and an online petition effort will launch Monday, beginning with a TV commercial about a measure under consideration in Tennessee. The so-called “abortion trafficking” bill sponsored by GOP state legislators would make it a felony offense for an adult to recruit, harbor or transport a minor to get an abortion without parental consent.

Newsom told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that similar restrictions modeled on a law that has already passed in Idaho are also being proposed in Oklahoma and Mississippi.

“The conditions are much more pernicious than they even appear,” Newsom said. “These guys are not just restricting the rights, self-determination to bear a child for a young woman. But they’re also determining their fate as it relates to their future in life by saying they can’t even travel.”

People who support the Tennessee measure say it could criminalize not only driving a minor to get an abortion, but also providing information about nearby abortion services or passing along which states have looser abortion laws.

Republican state Rep. Jason Zachary, who is co-sponsoring the proposal, has called it “simply a parental rights bill.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, anti-abortion advocates have pushed states to ban abortion and find ways to block pregnant women and girls from crossing state lines to obtain the procedure.

Click here to read the full article in ABC7

County to consider suing crisis pregnancy centers for alleged deceptive practices

County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer is urging her colleagues to get tough with local crisis pregnancy centers, asking them to consider not just a public education program on their practices but also filing a lawsuit “including but not limited to shutting down such centers.”

The supervisor’s request will be considered at Tuesday’s regular board meeting and is detailed in a letter included in the board’s agenda, which is available online at sandiegocounty.gov.

Crisis centers have recently been criticized for attempting to pass themselves off as abortion providers, using internet search engines to reach women considering abortion and attempting to convince them to reconsider. A lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Rob Bonta last year targets two organizations promoting a practice called “abortion pill reversal” which the lawsuit called “an unproven and largely experimental procedure.”

A search of online content indexed by google.com in 2022 turned up roughly 16 such centers in San Diego County. Local crisis centers listed online did not respond Friday to requests for comment on the proposal.

Lawson-Remer said Thursday that she believes the county can and should follow Bonta’s lead.

“Women can end up in a position where they are trying to go see a doctor, to go see a medical expert, and instead they’re being lied to and misled to the extent where they’re delayed, delayed, delayed until their choice is taken from them,” the supervisor said.

The comment refers to an alleged practice of continuing consultations until a pregnancy is beyond the time limit allowed by state law.

In addition to asking the Board of Supervisors to consider litigation, the agenda item also requests that the county’s chief administrative officer consider what it would take to “create and implement a public education campaign that potentially include(s) billboards and social media ads” that would educate the public about crisis pregnancy centers and resources available to the public.

Dr. Antoinette Marengo, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, said Friday that it is hard to know exactly how many people crisis centers see, though they often set up shop very near clinics where abortions are offered.

Taking action as Lawson-Remer proposes, she said, is supported by many physicians.

“I don’t want to speak for the legal department, but as chief medical officer, I will say that they do not provide qualified medical care and that they make false claims,” Marengo said. “I think, from a medical standpoint, they should be shut down, they should not be able to advertise as providing medical care.”

Click here to read the full article in the SD Union Tribune

Demonstrators March for Reproductive Rights in Wake of Abortion Pill Ruling

LOS ANGELES – A march for reproductive rights Saturday in Los Angeles organized by the Women’s March Foundation to support abortion rights drew hundreds of protesters along with Vice President Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.

The march was planned in response to a ruling by a federal judge in Texas that could overturn the FDA’s approval of the most common abortion drug in the United States.

The protesters oppose the recent Texas court decision on Mifepristone, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court‘s decision last year to overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortion, which was ruled to be a Constitutional right 50 years ago.

SUGGESTED: Court preserves access to abortion drug, tightens rules

The march began at Pershing Square around noon and wound its way to the steps of City Hall, where the crowd was addressed by Harris, in town for the event. Around 1:30 p.m., Harris and husband Douglas Emhoff rallied the crowd to fight for women’s fundamental rights.

“Around our country, supposed so-called extremist leaders, who would dare to silence the voice of the people, a United States Supreme Court — the highest court in our land — that took a Constitutional right that had been recognized from the people of America,” Harris said.

SUGGESTED: Supreme Court’s abortion pill order spares safe havens for now

“We have seen attacks on voting rights, attacks on fundamental rights to love and to marry the people that you love, attacks on the ability of people to be themselves and be proud of the people who they are. And so this is a moment that history will show required each of us based on our collective love of our country to stand up for and fight for to protect our ideals. That’s what this moment is,” Harris said.

Mayor Bass exhorted the crowd saying, “First, they wanted to ban abortions. Now, they want to ban medication. What is wrong with them?”

The Supreme Court has stayed the Texas ruling for a short period so the justices can review the matter and either extend the stay or send it back to the lower court. Either way, the case will likely end up back in their lap as there was a ruling by a Washington state judge that ordered the FDA to preserve access to Mifepristone in 17 states where abortion remains legal.

Click here to read the full article at Fox11

Gov. Newsom Announces State Stockpile Of 2 Million Abortion Pills

Medical experts noted that the CA stockpiles were wildly unnecessary, and selfish

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that, due to a recent U.S. District Court ruling on the U.S. improperly approving the abortion pill Mifepristone over 20 years ago and thereby putting legality up in the air, California would begin stockpiling 2 million pills of the similar drug Misoprostol.

Since Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was passed in the U.S. Supreme Court last year, states across the U.S. have been fluctuating on abortion legality. Some states have all but outright banned the practice, while others, such as California, have expanded abortion legality, becoming abortion sanctuary states. For California, this has included subsidizing abortions, creating incentives for people out of state to travel to California for abortions, and, most recently, attempting to remove state contracts from pharmacies for removing abortion pill access in states that outlawed the pills.

However, two court rulings on Friday brought forth another speed bump. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas ruled on Friday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) improperly approved the abortion pill Mifepristone in 2000, with the pausing of the FDA’s approval due to come this coming Friday. Only hours later, another District Court judge, Thomas Rice of Washington state, ruled that the FDA would be barred from altering the status quo on Mifepristone in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

While the Biden Administration appealed the Texas ruling to a higher court, the most popular and widely used abortion pill is now somewhere in legal limbo. To prepare for a ban, Governor Newsom announced on Monday that California had  secured an emergency stockpile of up to 2 million pills of the similar abortion drug Misoprostol.

A stockpile of abortion pills

According to a statement from the Governor’s office, “While California still believes Mifepristone is central to the preferred regimen for medication abortion, the State negotiated and purchased an emergency stockpile of Misoprostol in anticipation of Friday’s ruling by far-right federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk to ensure that California remains a safe haven for safe, affordable, and accessible reproductive care. More than 250,000 pills have already arrived in California, and the State has negotiated the ability to purchase up to 2 million Misoprostol pills as needed through CalRx. To support other states in securing Misoprostol at a low cost, California has shared the negotiated terms of the purchase agreement with all states in the Reproductive Freedom Alliance.”

Governor Newsom also gave a brief statement, noting, “In response to this extremist ban on a medication abortion drug, our state has secured a stockpile of an alternative medication abortion drug to ensure that Californians continue to have access to safe reproductive health treatments. We will not cave to extremists who are trying to outlaw these critical abortion services. Medication abortion remains legal in California.”

Many medical experts noted on Monday that the stockpiles were wildly unnecessary, due to where the courts were likely heading with the Mifepristone case.

“The Texas ruling is currently being fought against, so it is unlikely to be held up,” explained Dr. Andreas Lopez, a physician who also acts as a consult to lawyers over medical legal cases, to the Globe on Monday. “Over half of all abortions are by the pill, and the drug has been legal since 2000. It’s currently going to an appellate court which in all likelihood will block it, plus the Washington ruling allowing access are just a lot. Stockpiling is the last thing you want to do. What it is is just a gesture showing where Newsom stands on the issue, rather than be a defender of abortion.”

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

California Bill to Protect Doctors Who Mail Abortion Pills

Doctors in California who mail abortion pills to people in other states would be protected from prosecution under a new bill announced Friday in the state Legislature.

The bill would not let California extradite doctors who are facing charges in another state for providing abortion medication. It would also shield doctors from having to pay fines. And it would let California doctors sue anyone who tries to stop them from providing abortions.

The bill would only protect doctors who are in California. If a doctor left California to provide an abortion to someone in another state, that doctor would not be protected. It also would not protect patients in other states who receive the medication.

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley and the author of the bill, said her intent is to make sure California residents who are traveling in other states or living there temporarily — like college students — can still have access to medication that’s legal in their home state. But she acknowledged the bill would also apply to California doctors who treat patients who live in other states.

“This is essential health care,” Skinner said. “Our health care practitioners should be protected for treating their patients regardless of where their patients are geographically.”

Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Vermont have proposed or passed similar laws, according to Skinner’s office. Connecticut’s law, among other things, blocks criminal summonses from other states related to reproductive health care services that are legal in Connecticut while also blocking extradition — unless the person fled from a state requesting them.

“Obviously, if a provider is engaging in telehealth services with someone, even if they do inquire about where they are, they kind of have to take it on faith,” said Connecticut state Rep. Matt Blumenthal, a Democrat and co-chair of the General Assembly’s Reproductive Rights Caucus. “We don’t want to make providers their police for their patients. And we don’t want to make them have to do an investigation every time they perform telehealth.”

Other states have tried to block the distribution of the abortion pill, known as mifepristone. Attorneys general in 20 states, mostly with Republican governors, have warned some of the nation’s largest pharmacy companies they could face legal consequences if they distribute the pill within their states.

Most abortions are outlawed in Idaho, including medication abortions. Blaine Conzatti, president of the Idaho Family Policy Center — a group that opposes abortion rights — said California has a responsibility to extradite physicians who break Idaho laws.

“The arrogance of such a proposal is astounding,” Conzatti said of Skinner’s bill. “It flaunts the traditional relationship between states and would upend our federal system altogether.”

Skinner’s bill goes beyond abortions. It would also protect doctors for mailing contraceptives and transgender-related medications.

California already has laws that prevents courts from enforcing out-of-state judgments on abortion providers and volunteers. That law was aimed at protecting doctors who provide abortions to people who travel to California from other states. Abortion opponents say laws like that are illegal because they violate a clause in the U.S. Constitution that says states must give “full faith and credit” to the laws of other states.

Federal courts have recognized an exception to that clause, including laws in one state that violate the “public policy” of another state. Skinner’s law declares it is the public policy of California that doctors should not be charged for providing abortion medication.

“We’re very careful,” Skinner said.

Abortion pills have been legal in the U.S. for more than two decades and can be used up to the 10th week of pregnancy. It’s now the most common abortion method in the U.S. A federal judge in Texas is weighing whether to revoke or suspend the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug, a decision that would apply to all states and not just the ones who have outlawed abortions.

Click here to read the full article at AP News

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.” 

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