Dec 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

California’s abortion providers intro plan to expand care, funds if Roe goes

The crowd outside the Supreme Court during the oral arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Womens Health Organization. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Abortion providers and supporters in California, including the leader of the state's Senate, on Wednesday unveiled a series of recommendations to make the state a haven for people seeking abortions in the state if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court is considering a Mississippi case that has thrown Roe's survival into question. Without it, abortion would immediately become illegal in 12 states, and more would likely follow suit.

  • In California and in 14 other states, as well as Washington, D.C., there are laws that would automatically keep abortion legal if Roe is overturned.

By the numbers: There would be an estimated 2,923% increase in women who would have to travel to California to access abortion care if Roe is overturned, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Details: The recommendations from the California Future of Abortion Council include urging state politicians to ensure "sufficient financial support" by increasing funds for abortion fund organizations and providers, as well as to improve infrastructure, to support those seeking to access the practice — particularly since an influx of out-of-state patients is expected.

  • It asks state lawmakers to reimburse providers for services to those who cannot afford to pay an abortion, including non-state residents that do not qualify for state financial aid under Medicaid.
  • The council recommends that the state also enact legal protections for abortion providers, as well as for all patients seeking treatment. The state, the council says, should "expressly protect patients who choose to self-manage their abortion as well as those who assist them."

Between the lines: Toni Atkins (D), president pro tempore of the California state Senate, helped write the recommendations. In a letter introducing the council's report, she said she California should "continue to serve as a beacon of hope for the rest of our nation."

What they're saying: "At a time when reproductive rights and women’s health care are under attack in this country, California is stepping up to meet the moment – we’re proud to have enacted some of the strongest reproductive freedom measures in the nation, and we’re proud to have helped advance the California Future of Abortion Council," California Gov. Gavin Newsom in an emailed statement.

  • "We take seriously the recommendations made in this report as California continues to lead the nation in protecting such fundamental rights."

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