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CA Gov Newsom Promises to Protect Abortion Rights: ‘We Can’t Trust SCOTUS’

CA Gov Newsom Promises to Protect Abortion Rights: ‘We Can’t Trust SCOTUS’

California Governor Gavin Newsom has long pledged that the state would become a “sanctuary” for people seeking reproductive care if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that guaranteed the right to abortion.

After a draft ruling leaked showing the court may have decided to do just that, Governor Newsom said he and state leaders were proposing an amendment that would “enshrine the right to choose” in California’s constitution. State lawmakers are currently considering recommendations from a council tasked with finding solutions in case Roe is overturned. “We can’t trust SCOTUS to protect the right to abortion, so we’ll do it ourselves,” Newsom said on Twitter. “Women will remain protected here.”

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

If the Supreme Court ultimately decides to overturn Roe v Wade, more than half of US states will outlaw abortion, closing abortion clinics for 41% of women of reproductive age and forcing hundreds of thousands of people to travel elsewhere to obtain the procedure. Experts are already warning some states may attempt to ban people from traveling for abortions. California has already reported seeing more patients since Texas banned abortions after six weeks.

States where abortion would remain legal, such as California, would be significantly impacted if Roe were to fall, with a major influx of out-of-state patients that could increase wait times for abortions. California could see an almost 3,000% increase in the number of people whose nearest legal abortion provider is in the state, which could increase the annual patient load from 46,000 people to 1.4 million with many patients coming from as near as Arizona, according to a Guttmacher Institute report.

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Clinics in Oregon and Washington were already preparing for an overwhelming wave of new patients after Idaho passed its own restrictive abortion law, and now they expect to see those numbers increase dramatically. The entire West Coast could see itself becoming a “Sanctuary Zone” if Roe isn’t codified, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said he will attempt once again.

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