California plans to be abortion sanctuary if Roe v. Wade overturned

AP Poll Abortion
Posted at 9:40 AM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 00:20:44-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State lawmakers may help pay for people from other states to come to California for abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

A report released Wednesday by dozens of abortion providers and advocacy groups asks state policymakers to pay for things such as travel, lodging and child care for those coming to California from other states.

The report also asks lawmakers to reimburse abortion providers for procedures performed for patients who can't afford them. That includes patients who travel from other states that would otherwise qualify for the state's Medicaid program.

The report has the support of top legislative leaders and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"I think California as a value statement wants to be that beacon, but we've got work to do," said Sen. Toni Atkins.

Atkins represents San Diego County and is the Senate President pro Tempore. She's helping champion the plan released by the California Future of Abortion Council.

Atkins previously served as an administrator at a San Diego women's health clinic and has seen the challenges first-hand.

"From our standpoint, it really is about privacy and a right for self-determination and so I look forward to a number of these recommendations being considered now and as we move into open session," she said.

The report was released a week after the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding a landmark abortion case out of Mississippi that has the potential to roll back precedent set in Roe v. Wade.

Legal analysts agree that justices' lines of questioning indicated that when the court issues a ruling later next year, it will allow states to take further action in restricting abortions.

Should that happen, California and San Diego County are expected to receive an influx of women seeking abortion care from other states.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the number of women who may drive to California for abortion care, if there's a total ban, would increase from 42,000 to 1.4 million.

Shortly after a Texas law passed banning abortion after 6 weeks in September, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to declare the county a "champion of reproductive freedom."

Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer reiterated the county's support during a board meeting Tuesday.

"I want to make this clear to every woman and person listening now that San Diego County supports strong and safe abortion access," said Lawson-Remer.