California governor proposes aiding Arizonans in accessing abortions in California

In reaction to an Arizona Supreme Court ruling that prohibits most abortions beginning June 8, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced intentions to accelerate licensing for Arizona abortion clinics to operate in California.

Newsom expects that his law will allow Arizona abortion providers to be approved in California in as few as five to ten days.

Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled that an 1864 pre-state law prohibiting abortion unless when the mother’s life is in danger remains in effect.

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has stated that she will not prosecute abortions, and the governor is directing abortion-related cases to Mayes to prevent county-level prosecutions.

California governor proposes aiding Arizonans in accessing abortions in California

Planned Parenthood anticipates an increase in California abortions as a result of the Arizona judgment. In 2022, California became an abortion sanctuary state, shielding those seeking abortions in the state from legal and law enforcement action based on abortion bans in other states. Newsom also set aside $200 million to increase abortion and contraception access, with $20 million going toward subsidizing out-of-state women’s trips to California for abortions.

On Sunday, Newsom stated on MSNBC that he and California Democrats are introducing emergency legislation to allow Arizona abortion providers to rapidly relocate to California and begin delivering abortions.

“A big part of my focus, and why I’m so focused on Arizona, and providing doctors in Arizona the ability to come into California through emergency legislation we’re going to introduce with the Women’s Caucus this week is to address the crisis at hand with the law that will go into effect on May 1st — to provide access to women and girls that are fleeing the state of Arizona,” Newsom said in an interview with Jen Psaki on Inside.

Newsom also stressed the political importance of Arizona and Nevada, as well as abortion, in the upcoming 2024 election against former President Trump.

“To focus on Arizona electorally, to focus on Nevada electorally, that will play potentially an outsized role in this election, and what the needs and aspirations and desires of the people that live there are, and I think those needs and aspirations and desires are a little big bigger than reinforcing a previous point of view as it relates to the character or lack thereof of the former president of the United States, Donald Trump,” Newsom said in the interview.

Bills in California must be passed by at least the body in which they were introduced by May 24, so Newsom will need to act quickly to get his plan passed before Arizona’s abortion ban takes effect.

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