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Proposition 1 would allow abortion up to moment of birth

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

When the Supreme Court voted to let states decide about abortion rights, Gov. Gavin Newson and the legislature went on the offensive to enshrine the pro-choice position in the state constitution. Proposition 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot would grant unprecedented abortion rights.

Abortion and contraceptive access are currently protected in state law. Opponents of the proposition believe the Democrat-dominated state is using the fear factor of the Supreme Court’s decision to reach a new extreme.

The actual text of this ballot measure would repeal the current ban on abortions after 23 weeks of a pregnancy and allow the right to a late-term abortion up to the moment of birth. Yes, even in the birthing room.

The proposition would give California one of the most extreme abortion laws in the country, according to the conservative group Reform California. The organization also says this measure may also interfere with existing state laws that allow for sexually violent predators to be placed under mandatory chemical treatment to limit their sex drive and desires. Reform California, as well as the state Republican Party, recommends a no vote on Proposition 1.

Abortion is one of the most intense political issues. Most Christian churches oppose abortion, and this proposition is being fought by many pro-life groups. One organization, California Together, contends Proposition 1 allows late-term abortion without limit at taxpayer expense.

It says passage Proposition 1 would add no new rights for Californians but gives more power to politicians by restricting every individual’s ability to make decisions about their healthcare. It says the state would spend more than $200 million a year on abortions, much of it for those living in other states – money that should instead go to improving California schools and infrastructure.

“We must keep healthcare decisions where they belong – with the people and their physicians,” the California Together web page contends.

Feminists and the state Democratic Party support Proposition 1, which was placed on the ballot by the Democratic-controlled legislature in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. If passed, it would protect an individual’s “fundamental right to choose to have an abortion,” along with the right to birth control.

Sources indicate that people are already coming to the state for abortion services.

Jessica Pinckney, executive director of Oakland-based Access Reproductive Justice, has said the organization had experienced an increase in out-of-state calls even before the high court ruled in June. Pinckney anticipates handling more cases as more states restrict abortion – regardless of Proposition 1’s outcome.

Other proponents of the proposition say Proposition 1 would unlikely have any financial impact on the state, unless a court interpreted it as expanding the government’s obligation to pay for contraception and abortion procedures – which it already does for low-income residents.

If passed, the proposition will amend the constitution to explicitly grant the right to an abortion and contraceptives.

As a joint effort by Newsom, Senate President pro tempore Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, the constitutional amendment passed in the state senate by a 29–8 vote on June 20, and 58–17 in the assembly on June 27, prior to the June 30 deadline to have the amendment voted upon in November. On July 1, California Secretary of State Shirley formally designated the amendment as Proposition 1, making the proposed amendment the first abortion-related ballot measure in California since Proposition. 4 in 2008, a rejected initiative that would have imposed a waiting period on abortions and parental notification in the case of minors.

Polling on Proposition 1 consistently shows the ballot measure passing by a wide margin.

This is the second in a series reviewing the propositions that California voters will be asked to vote on in the November election. Propositions 26 and 27 – both about online gambling – were reviewed in the Sept. 8 edition. The remaining propositions will be reviewed in coming weeks.


Reader Comments(1)

mrsblichterman writes:

This headline is misleading and irresponsible. Proposition 1 does not change the current abortion laws in this state, other than to codify the right to choose in our California Constitution.