California is mobilizing to protect women and their right to abortion

To protect tooth and nail the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy and welcome all women who do not have access to it in their state: California sounded the general mobilization on Tuesday after the disclosure of a draft decision of the Supreme Court returning to this result.

“Our daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers will not be silenced,” tweeted California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. “The world is about to hear their fury. California will not stand by. We will fight like the devils,” he promised, shortly after the Politico website released the document Monday night.

In the process, the governor and the leaders of the parliament of the most populous and richest American state announced “an amendment to enshrine the right of choice in the Constitution of our state”.

“We know we cannot trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our Constitution,” they write.

Certainly this amendment, which should be put to the vote during the mid-term elections next November, will essentially have a symbolic meaning, multiple laws that already guarantee the right to abortion on Californian soil.

But that is precisely the purpose of this announcement: to let all women residing in states know that they would rush to limit or even ban abortion that California, a Democratic stronghold, will continue to welcome them.

“We will not abandon women and families affected by the regressive and irresponsible policies of other states,” Acting California Senate President Toni Atkins promised at a news conference Tuesday, pledging to this. “California continues to be a beacon of hope.” for them.

– One in four women –

According to the Guttmacher Institute, if the Supreme Court decides in a few weeks to revoke the 1973 “Roe v. Wade” ruling (according to which the US Constitution guarantees the right of women to have an abortion as long as the fetus is not “viable”), 26 US states would “certainly or probably” decide to ban abortion on their territory.

A study recently published in the American Journal of Public Health concludes that nearly one in four women in the United States will have an abortion before age 45.

“It will not stop suddenly because the extremist politicians will have issued bans, this need will remain!” thundered Jodi Hicks, president of the Planned Parenthood organization in California, which administers about half of the 165 abortion centers in this state.

“It’s about people’s dignity, health and their future trajectory,” she insists, referring to the case of poor and vulnerable young women who will be forced to travel out of their state to have an abortion. .

“We are well aware that this type of ban disproportionately affects low-income people, people of color (…) We also know that people who want to have an abortion and are rejected are four times more likely to end up in poverty”, adds Hicks.

Planned Parenthood says it has treated at least 80 out-of-state patients each month in California since last September, when Texas tightened abortion requirements drastically.

Its Mar Monte branch, which covers Northern California and neighboring Nevada, is preparing to welcome between 250 and 500 more patients per week if “Roe v. Wade” is interrupted.

A new abortion center will be opened in Reno, near the airport and other transportation hubs, to facilitate the arrival of women from other states, Planned Parenthood says on its website.

California, which had stood out for its fierce opposition to former President Donald Trump’s ultraconservative policy, had already adopted legislation in 2014 that required employers and private insurance companies to include reimbursement of abortions in health coverage.

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