What the Texas Abortion Law Means for California

The almost total ban on abortions in texas which started last week has reverberated across the country, with abortion rights advocates fearing what lies ahead legislators in some states pledge to follow suit.

But the question that looms in the last few days is what will happen to Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Some experts say that the Supreme Court’s decision to allow strict Texas law to come into effect suggests he may soon overturn what has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years.

But what does all of this mean for liberal California? The state is home to more than a quarter of the nation’s abortion centers, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

I contacted experts to find out how the texan law and the possible repeal of Roe v. Wade could affect California, where more than 100,000 abortions are performed each year.

Here are the main points to remember:

The right to abortion is enshrined in our state’s constitution, and the new Texas law does not affect that.

If the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, who could arrive next spring, the right to abortion would be determined by state laws.

California and 13 other states, as well as Washington, DC, have laws in place that would keep abortions legal, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute.

In 22 other states, abortion would likely become illegal quickly if Roe were canceled. An America without Roe is not an America without legal abortion, but one with extremely unequal access, as my colleagues have reported.

Some people living in states where it is difficult to obtain an abortion may travel to California for treatment. In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a proclamation “Welcome women to California so that they can fully exercise their reproductive rights”.

Planned Parenthood clinics in California last year treated 7,000 patients from other states, including many of which were from Texas, according to Shannon Olivieri Hovis, director of NARAL Pro-Choice California.

Abortion laws in states closer to Texas may include waiting periods or other restrictions that deter women from seeking care there, said Dr Daniel Grossman, professor of reproductive sciences. at the University of California at San Francisco.

“Although California is geographically quite far from Texas, it may be a good idea for some people to get on a plane and come here,” Grossman told me. “I think we, as suppliers here in California, will be prepared for an increased demand for services.”

Nationally, 38 percent of women of reproductive age live in a county without an abortion clinic, according to Guttmacher. In Texas, before the new law, this fraction was 43%.

In California, it’s 3%.

Over the past week, Newsom seized on Texas’ decision to rally voters. He notified on Twitter that the ban “could be CA’s future” if the recall was successful.

The stakes are high for many abortion advocates: “There is no worse time imaginable than a world where California finds itself with an anti-choice governor at a time when Roe v. Wade falls and that abortion rights return to the States, ”Olivieri Hovis told me.

But while it is true that Larry Elder, the replacement principal candidate, called abortion “murder” and stated that Roe v. Wade was “one of the worst decisions” of the Supreme Court, anyone who replaces Newsom may not be able to do much to roll back abortion rights.

Changing the state’s constitution requires the approval of more than 50 percent of the electorate, a margin difficult to achieve given the general support for abortion here. And a predominantly Democratic legislature would likely oppose restrictions on abortion.

A new governor may be able to pass relatively small-scale changes that would almost exclusively affect women on Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid insurance program for low-income people that funds about half of abortions in the state, Kaiser Health News reported.

For example, the governor could veto bills expanding access to abortion for Medi-Cal patients or set abortion reimbursement rates so low that no doctor could afford to. perform the procedure.

For more:

Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming recall elections, scheduled for September 14.

Many Republicans vying to replace Newsom want to reverse the state’s aggressive plans to reduce its global warming emissions, a move that could have national implications given California’s influence as the world’s fifth-largest economy.

Read more from my colleague Brad Plumer.

I’m sure you haven’t forgotten Newsom’s meal at the French Laundry. But the Associated Press published an article this week on how the infamous dinner coincided with a decision by a California judge who gave Newsom critics extra time to get the reminder on the ballot.

This is my favorite line from the article: “Dinner turned the heat up on the nascent encore, and the extra time allowed it to reach its full boil.”

Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris was in the Bay Area campaigning for Newsom. And Former President Barack Obama posted an ad telling voters that the outcome of the election could make the difference “between protecting our children and putting them at risk”.

My colleague Ryan Mac reports that many tech leaders are financially supporting Newsom, wary of what a replacement would bring.

And finally, The Times has answers to your frequently asked recall questions.

Tell us what else do you want to know about the recall. Email your questions to [email protected]

Today’s travel tip comes from a reader, Laura Bergman, who writes:

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have family in Ventura. We don’t go down to see them without stopping in our favorite little town off the beaten track called Los Olivos. We enjoy wine tasting, olive tasting and cruising around the pretty little town.


The Independent Marine Journal posted six word stories about friendship. Here are some of the best submitted by readers:

We laughed then, we laugh now. – Jesse N. Alvarez, Novato

Lovers get excited. Faithful friends delight forever. – Gailya Magdalena, Lucas Valley

Two hearts, two minds, shared thoughts. – Sharon Eide, Novato


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. – Soumya

PS here today’s mini-crosswords, and an index: U2, for one (4 letters).

Steven Moity and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can join the team at [email protected].

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