He also proposed $933 million to give an estimated 600,000 nurses and health care workers bonuses as a way to help retain employees in an industry plagued by burnout.
In addition, Newsom wants to spend $57 million to increase reproductive healthcare access in California — including $40 million to help low-and middle-income residents without insurance obtain abortion care.
Newsom has been a staunch advocate for abortion rights. He’s defended abortion access even more fiercely since Politico published a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that showed justices are on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that guaranteed federal abortion rights.
After the draft opinion leaked, Newsom joined legislative leaders in calling for an abortion rights amendment to the California constitution.
With states set to govern abortion access, Newsom has also been vocal about wanting the Golden State to welcome pregnant people seeking abortions in states that ban the procedure.
During his budget revision presentation Newsom drew a sharp distinction between what he sees as California’s “pro-life” approach and that of other more conservative states that restrict abortion but don’t invest in broader social needs.
“I think there’s a lot of folks out there that are pro-conception to birth. But they fall wholly short of being pro-life,” Newsom said. “Because if you’re pro-life, you’d support pre-natal care, you’d support Black infant health, you’d support child care and preschool. If you’re pro-life, you’d believe in science, you’d believe in climate change. If you’re pro-life, you would support home visiting. If you were pro-life, you’d actually support common sense gun safety. If you were pro-life, you would actually be expanding after school and preschool programs.”
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