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Will California become an abortion hub? How a Supreme Court decision could affect the state

Gillian Brassil, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

“We want to make sure that we have the capacity to serve not just people who are traveling from out of state but make sure that we have the capacity to serve Californians who need care too,” Matsubara said.

Newsom recently signed laws to heighten privacy around abortions by requiring information on those and similar procedures to be sent to a patient exclusively, rather than to additional members on a health plan, such as to guardians of minors. Another law penalizes individuals who post personal information about other people who work for or go to reproductive health centers.

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and other similar organizations created the California Future of Abortion Council advisory group to advise the state and serve as a model for others on anticipating and addressing challenges to reproductive and sexual health care. The group is expected to release some findings next month.

California views on abortion

Almost two-thirds of Americans think the court should uphold the precedent, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted this month. About three-quarters of respondents said that the decision about an abortion should be between a person and their doctor, rather than regulated by state laws.

Californians are more supportive of abortion access than the general population: 77% of adults in California do not want Roe v. Wade overturned, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll conducted in July.

Central Valley respondents offered the least support in California. Most people there still overwhelmingly support upholding Roe v. Wade, but 26% of respondents said they backed overturning it.

 

But more people are against some measures set by the legal precedent than those polls show, said John Gerardi, the executive director of Fresno-nonprofit Right to Life of Central California.

He noted that many people do not generally support third-trimester abortions, which are allowed under California law if the pregnant person’s health or life is at risk, without clearly narrowing what “health” means.

“If Roe is overturned decisively, I think there will be happiness among the conservative community, but unfortunately, kind of a mostly theoretical happiness that positive things will be happening in places other than here,” he said of Valley residents.

Another bill that was considered in the state Legislature this summer, and will likely return, would get rid of out-of-pocket costs for abortions by preventing most private health plans overseen by the state from putting co-pays or deductibles on the procedure.

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