Governor Gavin Newsom has released a proclamation declaring California a “reproductive freedom state,” on the heels of signing two bills into law that further expand abortion in an already extreme state.
The first bill, AB 1356, updates an existing law which makes it a crime to post personal information or photos of an abortion patient online. Those who violate the law face a year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. If bodily injury is involved, the fine can increase to $50,000. Additionally, the bill makes it a crime to “intimidate” anyone within 100 feet of an abortion facility, or film them within 100 feet of an abortion facility.
The author of the bill, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, said she was motivated by pro-life activists, whom she claims “harass” women.
“They are well organized, well-funded and undeterred by low fines,” she claimed in a statement. “True access to reproductive healthcare requires safety and privacy. When protesters harass patients and providers, they don’t just state their opinions — they fundamentally threaten a patient’s right to reproductive healthcare.”
Unsurprisingly, Planned Parenthood praised the bill in a press release from Bauer-Kahan, saying, “Reproductive health care providers deserve to feel safe when showing up to provide care, and patients deserve to feel safe when showing up to receive critical healthcare.”
Though the intent is clearly to make pro-life activists seem like a threat to women, the reality is, the pro-life movement has been facing increasing hostility and violence from abortion advocates, particularly over the Texas Heartbeat Act. Pro-abortion violence has included screaming, hitting, and spitting at pro-lifers; pointing loaded guns, threats with knives, and throwing molotov cocktails; punching and kicking pro-lifers; bomb threats and vandalism; attempted vehicular assault, and much more.
The second bill, AB 1184, makes it easier for minor children on their parents’ insurance plan to keep their abortions secret, as well as other “sensitive medical information.” Minor patients will no longer need to get approval from the insurance policy holder or subscriber — their parents — and information cannot be shared with anyone unless the minor patient approves first.
Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council, pointed out that the bill makes no distinction between a 25-year-old adult still on their parents’ insurance policy and a 12-year-old child.
“How can moms and dads protect their children if insurance companies deliberately keep them in the dark?” Keller said. “Parents are responsible for the health and safety of their sons and daughters. Even the best-intentioned medical providers cannot replace the role of mothers and fathers. California should not force doctors to hide the truth about irreversible medical procedures like abortion and sterilizing hormone treatments.”
Parental consent laws are highly supported by the American public. Giving children the ability to hide an abortion from their parents is, in actuality, extremely dangerous, as it can help to cover up sexual abuse and trafficking. If a young child is attempting to get an abortion without parental knowledge or consent, that should be a red flag for potential abuse.
Newsom also announced he will join the California Future Abortion Council, and is intentionally trying to send a message to Texas and other pro-life states. “These are dark days. I don’t think one can understate the consequential nature of the moment that we are living in,” he said. “It becomes of outsized importance that California assert itself.”
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