When Texas Senate Bill 8, or SB8 – which bans almost all abortions in Texas and delegates enforcement responsibility to citizens – went into effect on September 1, I wanted to better understand it.
I started with this article:
I thought the article was comprehensive, fair…
Especially when I read this:
“It is within the realm of possibility that a Wisconsinite could sue a Californian for abetting a Texan’s abortion.”
How could this be within the “realm of possibility”?
So, if a pregnant woman from Texas comes to California for an abortion and I, a California resident, assist her by, say, driving her to her appointment, then a person in Wisconsin or any other state can sue me?
That person having absolutely no connection to the woman from Texas, or to me?
The law is being challenged, of course, but the conservative majority on the Supreme Court “declined for a second time to put the law on hold,” according to this December 10 article:
So I was heartened to learn that well before the Court’s December 10 decision, something monumental had been going on behind the scenes in California:
“With more than two dozen states poised to ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court gives them the OK next year, California clinics and their allies in the state Legislature on Wednesday revealed a plan to make the state a ‘sanctuary’ for those seeking reproductive care, including possibly paying for travel, lodging and procedures for people from other states.”
The article talks about the formation of the California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB) started by Governor Gavin Newsom and “made up of more than 40 abortion providers and advocacy groups.”
The CA FAB released a list of 45 recommendations for the state to consider if the high court overturns Roe v. Wade:
The Union-Tribune article says,
“The recommendations are not just a liberal fantasy. Some of the state’s most important policymakers helped write them, including Toni Atkins, the San Diego Democrat who leads the state Senate and attended multiple meetings.”
“We are a beacon,” said Atkins.
Beacon: someone or something that guides or gives hope to others.
“We’ll be a sanctuary,” said Newsom.
Sanctuary: a place of refuge or safety.
These are noble goals.
The 45 recommendations, according to the article:
“…recommend funding – including public spending – to support patients seeking abortion for travel expenses such as gas, lodging, transportation and childcare. It asks lawmakers to reimburse abortion providers for services to those who can’t afford to pay – including those who travel to California from other states whose income is low enough that they would qualify for state-funded abortions under Medicaid if they lived there.”
Here is the CA FAB report’s conclusion – it’s worth reading:
On December 1 the Supreme Court heard the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which centers on a Mississippi law that would ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and – believe many – effectively overturn Roe v. Wade.
The decision is not likely to come until the end of the term in Spring 2022.
On January 10, California Gavin Newsom announced his budget for fiscal year 2022-2023.
On January 12 the California Future of Abortion Council leadership issued a statement on the Planned Parenthood website:
The statement says, in part:
“The budget put forth by Governor Gavin Newsom shows California’s continued commitment to reproductive health, right, freedom, and justice.”
“…we intend to work closely with Governor Newsom, legislative leaders, and other California policymakers to ensure California continues to protect and expand access to abortion amid increased efforts by other states to implement extreme and dangerous restrictions, regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court may decide in the cases before them.”
“This year is perhaps the most consequential year for abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. It is essential that California policymakers take significant action in order to ensure Californians and those forced to seek care here are impacted as little as possible when accessing an essential and timely service like abortion.”
I think this graphic makes clear what’s going to happen when the Supreme Court makes its decisions. It’s from the Guttmacher Institute, whose website says it’s “a leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide”:
The need for what California is doing is clear.
I am 100% behind this, including with my tax dollars.
I hope California gets this right.