/  06.26.2022

on Friday (June 24), California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill that immediately protects abortion rights in the state, following the United States Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

“Never would this happen if men were the ones having babies – ever – and you know that, and I know that. Every damn person knows that. And that’s the elephant in the room,” Newsom said as he signed the bill. “Because women are treated as second class citizens in this country. Women are treated as less than. Women are not as free as men. That’s pretty damn sick.”

“Assembly Bill 1666” by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), which was passed by the state legislature on Thursday (June 23), will protect providers and patients in California from civil liability judgements based on claims made in states that don’t allow abortions.

The new bill will not just protect California residents. At the news conference on Friday in Sacramento, Newsom said the state will provide health care clinics with tens of millions of dollars in grants that can be used to support people who come to the state seeking an abortion. The grants would be part of the governor’s proposed $125 million Reproductive Health Package, an effort to expand abortion access and help prepare for the influx of people seeking reproductive health care from other states.

California has been preparing for months for the likelihood that thousands of people would travel to the state from areas of the United States that are banning abortions. UCLA’s Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy released a report this month estimating that 8,000 to 16,000 more people will travel to California each year for abortion care. That includes up to 9,400 more people from antiabortion states seeking care in Los Angeles County alone, according to the report.

California is a safe haven for those who seek abortion care. Abortion remains fully legal in California. Today’s decision does not impact our state’s laws. You have the right to an abortion here,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said. “In California, we refuse to turn back the clock and let radical ideologies exert control over your body.”

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