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Gavin Newsom welcomes women to California for abortions, urges other states to protect their rights

How abortion access would vary without Roe v. Wade

Different states have different laws in place that will take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
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Different states have different laws in place that will take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

As conservative states enact laws to restrict abortion, Gov. Gavin Newsom is encouraging women in those states to come to California to end unwanted pregnancies and encouraging other governors to fortify abortion rights for their own citizens.

Newsom and fellow Democratic governors in Oregon and Washington sent a letter Friday to other governors urging them to enact laws and amend their constitutions to strengthen abortion protections and expand access to contraceptives and sex education.

“We’ve been battling an escalating attack on the freedom of women and families to determine their futures,” the governors write. “Newly enacted and clearly unconstitutional laws in a handful of states compel our states to act now to reaffirm longstanding commitments to safeguard the fundamental rights of women.”

Newsom also released a proclamation Friday promoting California’s commitment to letting people access abortion, including allowing state funds to be used for abortions under subsidized health insurance plans for low-income people. U.S. law prohibits funding abortions with federal money.

“California will continue to uphold women’s equality and liberty by protecting their reproductive freedom, educating Californians about their rights to reproductive freedom, welcoming women to California to fully exercise their reproductive rights, and acting as a model for other states that want to ensure full reproductive freedom for women,” Newsom wrote in his proclamation.

Newsom has railed against new abortion restrictions in Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Mississippi and Georgia.

Alabama’s new abortion law is the most restrictive, banning the procedure in nearly all cases and threatening doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. Supporters designed the law to provoke a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.

Last week, Newsom blasted states with new abortion restrictions in a video paid for by his 2022 reelection fund. He’s also cited those abortion laws to encourage film companies to take their productions out of the South and back to California, where he says he’ll create new incentives for them on top of the state’s existing film tax credits.

Due to inaccurate information from Newsom’s office, a previous version of this story incorrectly listed the governor of Colorado as a signatory on the letter.

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Sophia Bollag covers California politics and government. Before joining The Bee, she reported in Sacramento for the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. She grew up in California and is a graduate of Northwestern University.

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