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California Will Be A ‘Sanctuary’ For People Seeking Abortions If Roe Is Overturned

California Will Be A ‘Sanctuary’ For People Seeking Abortions If Roe Is Overturned

With more than two dozen states poised to ban abortion next year if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down legislation meant to protect abortion rights, California clinics and their allies in the Democratic legislature revealed their plan on Wednesday to make the state a “sanctuary” for those seeking reproductive care, including possibly paying for travel, lodging, and procedures for people from other states.

The California Future of Abortion Council, which is made up of more than 40 abortion providers and advocacy groups, released a list of 45 recommendations for the state to consider if the high court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 48-year-old decision that forbids states from outlawing abortion. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who started the group himself, told The Associated Press last week that some of the report’s details will be included in his budget proposal in January. “We’ll be a sanctuary,” Newsom said, adding he’s aware patients will likely travel to California from other states to seek abortions. “We are looking at ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections.”

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Newsom’s plans aren’t just a liberal fantasy. Some of the state’s most important policymakers helped write them, including Toni Atkins, the San Diego Democrat who leads the state Senate and attended multiple meetings.

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. But money won’t be a problem for state-funded abortion services for patients from other states. California’s coffers have soared throughout the pandemic, fueling a record budget surplus this year. Next year, the state’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts California will have a surplus of about $31 billion.

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