California lawmakers have just announced that they are introducing a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to abortion and contraception into the state constitution.
SCA 10 (also known as Proposition 1) was introduced into the State Senate by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), along with Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and their colleagues, in partnership with Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and NARAL Pro-Choice California.
According to the bill’s text, the constitutional amendment would “prohibit the state from denying or interfering with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion.” As explained in a statement by Atkins, the amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the Senate and the Assembly. If it passes, it would then be placed on the November 2022 ballot for voters to approve. Floor votes in both houses must be reached by June 30 in order to qualify for the November referendum.
“Too many times, history has shown us that human rights must be enshrined in the constitution so that no one can infringe upon them. This is one such historic moment, and it must be met with a historic response,” Atkins said. “It is our duty as legislators to fight for the people of California and their right to make decisions about their own bodies and access critical health care. This constitutional amendment is the additional armor we need for that battle.”
Following the announcement, the California Catholic Conference (CCC) released a statement voicing its opposition to the proposed amendment. “The sad reality is that California already has some of the most accommodating abortion laws and services in the nation,” wrote the CCC. “And by providing extensive funding for abortion services without any corresponding equitable funding for pregnant women and mothers, the state exercises a destructive, coercive power in favor of ending innocent lives. Enshrining this amendment’s language into the constitution will extend the danger of coercive abortion to babies with unquestioned viability.”
This constitutional amendment is just the latest in a series of legislative attempts to make California the most abortion-friendly state in the nation. Just last month, Governor Gavin Newsom announced funding to expand abortion in the state, with over $125 million that would cover grants to pay for abortions, offer monetary incentives for abortionists, and provide funding for companies to relocate to California from states with abortion prohibitions.
Newsom has been vocal in his support of abortion. After a leaked draft Supreme Court ruling indicated that the court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade, he tweeted, “Our daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers will not be silenced. The world is about to hear their fury. California will not sit back. We are going to fight like hell.”
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