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California enacts bill to shield abortion providers and patients from red state bans

California enacts bill to shield abortion providers and patients from red state bans
Democratic governor Gavin Newsom says his state would not aid or abet Republicans’ efforts to ‘create fear’ for those who travel to seek abortions

California has passed a law shielding abortion doctors and patients from bans and lawsuits in other US states after the country’s Supreme Court revoked abortion rights for millions of Americans.

Democratic governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill from the state legislature on Friday that bars Californian courts from hearing legal cases filed under other states’ abortion bans, and prohibits the enforcement of any civil judgement stemming from such laws.

The new law takes effect immediately and is part of a so-called “West Coast offence” by the governors of California, Oregon and Washington to protect abortion rights after the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I am pissed,” said Mr Newsom at a press conference on Friday. “I am resolved and angry to do more and do betterI am mindful of the fact that California can play an outside role at this moment, that we punch above our weight.

“I want folks to know all around the rest of the country and parts of the globe that I hope we’re your antidote to your fear or anxiety, perhaps to the cynicism that many of you are feeling about the fate and the future of the country we live in….

“We will not aid, we will not abet, their efforts to be punitive, to fine, and create fear for those who seek support… [com] their reproductive rights and freedoms.”

Earlier that day, the Supreme Court reversed a longstanding legal precedent established in the case of Roe v Wade, which has guaranteed Americans’ right to an abortion for nearly 50 anos. Thousands of people gathered in New York and across the US to protest the decision, while so-called “trigger bans” passed by Republican state legislatures went into effect in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah, with other states likely to follow.

De acordo com Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights non-profit, the number of women travelling from other states to California for abortion care could increase from 46,000 para 1.4 milhão, prompting a wave of travel to the Golden State to access reproductive healthcare. Politicians in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have also sought to protect people who come to their states to get abortions.

In his press conference, Mr Newsom laid into the Supreme Court’s conservative majority for claiming to uphold states’ rights in its Roe decision while also overturning a New York state law regulating handguns only the previous day.

When the bill cleared the California Assembly in May, its sponsor Rebecca Bauer-Kahan disse: “The Supreme Court has completely abandoned abortion rights. It’s now up to states like California to fight for them.”

“AB 1666 ensures safe essential care stays legal in California. It puts up a legal shield for our doctors, providers and patients against attacks from the radical-right extremists who seek to strip women of their fundamental rights.”