Newsom unveils plan to increase funding for abortion access in California
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday announced plans to add an additional $57 million to his proposed state budget in anticipation for the influx of out-of-state patients that might travel to the state to access abortion care.
Driving the news: If the Supreme Court overturns its precedents protecting abortion access in the U.S., the number of women traveling from other states to California for abortions is expected to increase from 46,000 to 1.4 million, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
- California is one of the 16 states that have codified the right to having an abortion, protecting access even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
- State lawmakers are also considering a bill to make abortion access a state constitutional right.
State of play: Overall, Newsom's "Reproductive Health Package" includes $125 million to "further bolster California’s health care infrastructure" and "expand access to services for patients," according to a press released from the governor's office.
- The governor's budget already allocated $68 million to support California's reproductive health care system, but Newsom is increasing the funding in response to a potential Supreme Court ruling rolling back abortion rights.
Details: The latest addition to the budgetary package includes:
- $40 million for grants for abortion providers to help with the cost of offering care for low-income individuals without health insurance.
- $15 million for grants to "community-based" abortion rights organizations to increase "outreach and education on sexual health and reproductive health issues."
- $1 million to "develop and maintain a website that provides accurate and updated information" on abortion rights in the state, information about providers and coverage options for health services.
- $1 million "for research regarding the unmet needs for access to reproductive health care services."
Worth noting: Newsom is also proposing "incentive opportunities for businesses to relocate to California or grow jobs and their economic footprint [in the state] from states with anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ laws."
Catch up fast: Abortion providers and supporters in California in December unveiled a series of recommendations to expand abortion care in the state.
What he's saying: "California will not stand idly by as extremists roll back our basic constitutional rights; we’re going to fight like hell, making sure that all women — not just those in California — know that this state continues to recognize and protect their fundamental rights," said Newsom.
- "We’re expanding access to these critical services, welcoming businesses and their employees fleeing anti-abortion states, and reaffirming our commitment to continuing to work closely with the Legislature and reproductive rights stakeholders to further solidify California’s leadership on abortion rights," he added.