SACRAMENTO, California – Fearing that the U.S. Supreme Court UU. revoke soon Roe v. Wade, California Democrats acted quickly Tuesday to ensure the state’s progressive voters have the opportunity this fall to make abortion a constitutional right in the country’s most populous state.
A proposed amendment to the California Constitution that would explicitly prohibit the state from denying or interfering with abortions or contraceptives passed two legislative committees in a single day on Tuesday, an unusually fast pace for a legislature that often takes two years to pass a bill. its arduous process.
Lawmakers are moving so fast because they need voters to pass the amendment before it can become law. Voters could do so sooner in November, but for that to happen the amendment must be approved by the state legislature by two-thirds of the vote before the end of the month.
If he gets to the polls this year, he has a good chance of passing. Among likely voters, 76% oppose annulling Roe v. Wade, according to an April poll by the California Institute of Public Policy.
“California has to act now – this year, not next, now – to make it clear that we value reproductive choice,” said Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat who voted on the amendment Tuesday.
The amendment says the state “should not deny or interfere” with the “fundamental right to choose” of people to abort. Opponents warned that the wording was so broad that it would allow abortions even after the viability of the fetus, which California currently only allows if the mother’s life or health is in danger.
“This constitutional amendment as written will legalize and protect abortion to the point just before delivery,” said Kathleen Domingo, executive director of the California Catholic Conference. “It’s distressing that so many California lawmakers are signing their names with legislation that allows a human life to be taken away moments before birth.”
Vermont voters will consider an amendment to its state constitution this November that will protect “personal reproductive autonomy.” But the amendment does not include the word “abortion” and makes an exception “justified by an overriding interest of the state achieved by the less restrictive means.”
The state constitutions of Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia state that abortion is not a protected right. Meanwhile, 16 states and Washington DC have at least some abortion protections codified in the law, including California, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights group.
California already has some of the most comprehensive abortion laws in the country. The state uses tax dollars to pay for people’s abortions in its Medicaid program, requires private insurance companies to cover procedures without charging a copayment or deductible, and allows minors to have abortions without their parents’ permission.
Those things are possible because, in 1972, California voters added the right to privacy to the state’s constitution. State courts have cited that right to privacy while defending many of the state’s abortion laws. Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling preventing states from banning all abortions, was based on the implicit right to privacy of the U.S. Constitution.
But a draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year showed that a majority of judges voted in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, ruling that the right to privacy does not guarantee access to abortion. That ruling is not yet official because it has not been published, but it shows how the court could rule on the matter this month.
Now, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers are concerned that the state’s right to privacy is not enough to protect abortion in the future if political winds change and a new leadership begins. state.
“I want to make sure that right is protected,” said Pro Tempore Senate President Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat. “We are protecting ourselves from future courts and future politicians.”
The amendment is one of 14 proposals moving in the California legislature this year to strengthen and expand access to abortion. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Abortion amendment moving quickly in California legislature Source link Abortion amendment moving quickly in California legislature