Pro-Choice Coalition Unveils Plan To Expand Abortion Access In California

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th December, 2021) A coalition of California lawmakers and advocacy groups unveiled recommendations to protect abortion rights and expand access to services that could be taken away by the US Supreme Court.

"The new report includes 45 policy recommendations across seven focus areas that are intended to be used in California, and as a blueprint for other state legislatures looking to protect and expand access to abortion, countering the efforts by extreme politicians in many states to ban and restrict abortion care," the California Future of Abortion Council (FAB) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The council, which has California Senator Pro Tempore Toni Atkins on its steering committee, convened in September because they fear the US Supreme Court will severely weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 ruling that protected abortion rights. A decision on the case that could significantly change US abortion law is expected next year.

Atkins, in the release, said the FAB and state lawmakers will ensure Californians "and people from every state" can get the reproductive health services they need in a safe and timely way.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Governor Gavin Newsom, who supports FAB, said California will be a "sanctuary" for abortion patients coming from other states.

The report warns lawmakers that California must prepare for an influx of women seeking abortions if the court ends the constitutional right to the procedure. The report states that 27 states are certain or likely to ban abortion if the Supreme Court weakens or overturns Roe v. Wade.

According to data in the report from the Guttmacher Institute, if the conservative-dominated Supreme Court hands down a total ban, it is likely that an increasing number of women of reproductive age (15-49) may drive to California for abortion care. Observers anticipate a jump from 46,000 to 1.4 million women and girls representing a 2,923 percent increase.

To prepare for that, the council produced 45 recommendations, including calls to invest in abortion funds and infrastructure to support those seeking abortion care. In addition it calls for investing in a diverse California abortion provider workforce, increasing training opportunities for Blacks and People of Color and others historically excluded from health care professions.