SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will take a stance Tuesday on a statewide effort to codify abortion rights in the California Constitution.
Supervisors Terra Lawson-Remer and Nora Vargas will introduce a resolution calling on state leaders to pass language “enshrining the right to abortion” in the state constitution.
California’s state Supreme Court has a long history of upholding abortion rights. In 1981, the majority ruled that “all women in this state – rich and poor alike – possess a fundamental constitutional right to choose whether or not to bear a child.”
Still, Lawson-Remer says explicit protection for abortion is necessary.
“As we have seen over the last month, jurisprudence can evolve and be overturned,” she said, referencing the leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court written by Justice Samuel Alito.
In that leaked draft, which would overturn Roe v Wade, one of Alito’s main legal arguments is that word “abortion” never appears in the text of the U.S. Constitution.
By adding the word to California’s Constitution, it would prevent a similar legal attack – although some legal scholars say such an attack would be highly improbable under state precedent. Either way, Lawson-Remer said the move sends a symbolic message.
“It's important to be a symbol of hope because there are so many women who are waking up and reading the news and thinking that they don't matter. That they're not a full person. That they don't have a right to make choices to determine their own lives,” she said.
Demonstrating that California women have those rights “is an incredibly important message for us to be sending across our country,” she added.
To finalize the amendment, the new wording would need to be passed by two-thirds of both houses of California’s legislature by the end of June. Then it would need to be ratified by voters.
That means the abortion amendment would appear on the November ballot, something that political analysts say could motivate Democrats to go to the polls in an off-year election cycle.