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California Gov. Gavin Newsom during an April news conference. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed two laws that aim to protect the privacy of people seeking reproductive health care and enforce new safeguards against harassment of patients and providers.

Why it matters: The move comes in the wake of Texas' new abortion law, which bars abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and incentivizes people to sue individuals who help a pregnant person violate the ban.

  • "California is a national leader on reproductive and sexual health protections and rights, and Governor Newsom's actions today make clear that the state will remain a haven for all Californians, and for those coming from out-of-state seeking reproductive health services here," per a statement from his office.

Details: It's already illegal to post personal information about abortion providers or patients online, but that law had not been updated since the mid-2000s prior to Wednesday.

  • Because of the new laws signed by Newsom, it's now a misdemeanor to record or photograph patients or providers within 100 feet of the entrance to a reproductive health services facility.
  • The legislation also ensures that patient information remains confidential even if the patient is not the primary health insurance policyholder.

What they're saying: "California has been a leader in protecting access to sexual and reproductive rights, but as we’ve seen recently with unprecedented attacks on these rights, we can and must do more," Newsom said in a statement.

  • "I applaud the establishment of the California Future of Abortion Council and look forward to its important work to advance our state’s leadership on this vital issue," he said.
  • "I’m proud today to sign these two bills that demonstrate our dedication to strengthening and further protecting access to reproductive health care services in California."

The big picture, via Axios' Oriana Gonzalez: Over a dozen states have tried to enact laws similar to the near-total abortion ban in Texas, but they have mostly been blocked or struck down by federal or state judges.

  • Now, with this current precedent, some of these states could try again.

Go deeper

Appeals court denies DOJ's request to suspend Texas abortion ban

People protesting Texas' abortion ban outside of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Oct. 2. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

A three-judge panel for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied the Department of Justice's emergency request to suspend Texas' abortion ban, which bars the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or roughly six weeks — before many people know they are pregnant.

Why it matters: The ruling allows the ban to continue to be enforced as the courts consider the law's constitutionality. It's one of the most restrictive bans to be enforced since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

U.S. elected to rejoin UN Human Rights Council after exit under Trump

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. has been elected to rejoin on the UN Human Rights Council, the State Department announced Thursday, three years after former President Trump walked out on the panel citing bias against Israel.

Flashback: The Biden administration announced in February it planned to rejoin the council, acknowledging what it called an "unacceptable bias against Israel," but arguing that being a member would help the U.S. advance its own interests.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, which has been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.