Gavin Newsom: California will be abortion 'sanctuary' if Roe v. Wade overturned

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Gov. Gavin Newsom, along with lawmakers and clinics from the Golden State, have unveiled a plan for California to become a “sanctuary” for people seeking to obtain an abortion should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade next year.

The plan comes as multiple state legislatures suggest they will outlaw the procedure should states be allowed to determine whether it is permitted within their borders.

Gov. Gavin Newsom talks during a news conference in Universal City, California.
(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

The California Future of Abortion Council, which was created in September and consists of multiple advocacy groups and more than 40 abortion providers in the state, released a report with 45 recommendations for the state to consider should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

The recommendations in the report, which state Sen. Toni Atkins (D) helped draft, call for public funding for travel expenses – including transport and lodging – for those seeking abortions and reimbursement to abortion providers who provide services to those who cannot afford them.

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021 in Washington.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“We’ll be a sanctuary,” Newsom said during an interview with AP. The governor also noted that he is aware that people will travel to California for the procedure, saying the state is “looking at ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections.”

AP also noted that Newsom plans to highlight some details from the report in his budget proposal next month.

Most abortions performed in California are covered for many low-income residents by the state’s Medicaid program. California is one of six states that requires private insurance companies to cover abortions.

Gov. Gavin Newsom looks on during a press conference at The Unity Council on May 10, 2021, in Oakland, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In an effort to expand “high-quality and client-centered abortion care” the report also calls for the creation of a “California Reproductive Scholarship Corps” which would provide scholarships to medical students who pledge to offer abortion services in rural areas of the state.

Abortion advocates in the state suggest the plan will require action from the state in order to be successful.

“We’re looking at how to build capacity and build workforce,” said Jodi Hicks, CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “It will take a partnership and investment with the state.”

In a tweet, pro-life activist and Live Action President Lila Rose slammed the plan, saying the state will be more like a “slaughterhouse than a sanctuary” if the plan is fulfilled. “A ‘sanctuary’ where children are taken to be killed,” Rose wrote. “More like a slaughterhouse than a sanctuary. Horrific.”

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