Voters could decide on future of abortion in California

Alyssa Flores Image
Friday, June 10, 2022
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California is moving forward in the process to guarantee legal abortions, regardless of a looming decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California is moving forward in the process to guarantee legal abortions, regardless of a looming Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade.

An initial draft opinion leaked last month implying that the decision of abortion rights would return to the states. Governor Gavin Newsom has guaranteed Californians that access to abortions will remain legal in California.

This week, SCA 10 was introduced in the California Senate. If the bill passes, the right to abortion would be up to voters on the November 2022 ballot.

If approved by voters, the California Constitution would be amended to protect, "an individual's reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion."

"I think it's very important for states like CA to get the jump on it now. There's no time to wait," said Loralee Bergfall, an organizer with Women's March Fresno.

She says she's relieved to see California get ahead of the Supreme Court decision. Aside from concerns about abortion, she's worried overturning Roe v. Wade could call into question certain contraceptives and IVF.

"We are very aware that this is so much bigger than abortion and it's so much bigger than what's going on in our backyard," said Bergfall. "While one of us is not free, all of us are not free."

Bishop Joseph Brennan, head of the Catholic Diocese of Fresno, released a video message to parishioners last week saying that this U.S. Supreme Court opinion would save lives in other states but make matters worse in California.

"There's going to be change, alright. There is going to be more abortion," said Bishop Brennan. "The governor of California, the good Catholic that he is, claims to be, says that California will become a sanctuary state."

Jonathan Keller is president of California Family Council. He plans on attending hearings for the bill in Sacramento next week in hopes of convincing lawmakers the legislation needs to be more specific.

"Sadly, this constitutional amendment is so vague. It's so broad," said Keller. "It would essentially prohibit any common sense regulations or safety protocols to protect mothers and their unborn children."

California has a super majority in the legislature. This bill would not need Republican support to get onto the ballot this November.