By Vanguard Staff
Sacramento, CA – On Wednesday, Toni Atkins, Senate President Pro Tem, introduced a constitutional amendment to protect abortion and contraception in California.
SCA 10 would “amend the California Constitution to prohibit the state from denying or interfering with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives,” according to the bill’s language.
SCA 10 is joint-authored by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and is co-authored by 30 Senators and 52 Assemblymembers.
SCA 10 is intended to protect the right to abortion and contraceptives in the California Constitution, and requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the Senate and Assembly to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. The governor’s signature is not required for SCA 10 to go before California voters, who would need to approve it by a simple majority for it to become law.
“California will not sit on the sidelines as unprecedented attacks on the fundamental right to choose endanger women across the country,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “This measure will ensure that women in our state have an inviolable right to a safe and legal abortion that is protected in our constitution.”
He added, “I thank Senate President pro Tempore Atkins and Assembly Speaker Rendon for their leadership and look forward to our continued partnership to advance California’s nation-leading commitment to protecting and strengthening access to reproductive health care services in our state.”
“There is no such thing as outlawing access to abortion—there is only outlawing access to safe abortions,” said Senator María Elena Durazo, Chair of the California Legislative Latino Caucus. “With this constitutional amendment, California will continue to be a national leader on protecting women’s health. The great majority of Californians support a women’s right to choose, and today, we are one step closer to making sure that there is absolutely no doubt about where we as a state stand on this issue.”
“In California, we believe that individuals have a fundamental right to make deeply personal decisions about pregnancy, abortion, and access to healthcare. It is appropriate that our State Constitution reflect this essential truth,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “My colleagues in the Jewish Caucus and I are proud to coauthor SCA 10, and we look forward to working with our partners across the state to ensure that the right to reproductive freedom is enshrined in our State Constitution.”
“Healthcare is a fundamental human right, which includes abortion. We must ensure that abortion is safe and accessible for all Californians. By ensuring that we continue to protect access to abortion, we ensure that we protect the lives of all women,” said Assemblymember Evan Low, Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus.
“Abortion access and reproductive freedom is an economic and racial justice issue and a crucial part of civil rights. It is not only a matter of bodily autonomy, but also one of self-determination. When people have the ability to decide if, when, and how many children to have, they are able to make conscious decisions about other aspects of their lives, including education and work,” said Senator Steven Bradford, Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.
“As a doctor, I join my physician colleagues across our country to declare abortion is health care. These attacks on women’s health care by a Republican minority and a politicized Supreme Court allowed Texas to put a bounty on health professionals caring for women seeking abortions or miscarry and may end over 50 years of legal precedence by overturning Roe vs. Wade. AAPI women are targets for sexual harassment and violence because of racist stereotypes fetishizing, hypersexualizing and objectifying AAPI women; stereotypes rooted deep in American history,” said Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician and Chair of the California Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Legislative Caucus.
He added, “These attacks on women’s rights compound the danger to the health and lives of AAPI women and other women of color from racism and misogyny, which is why nearly 7 in 10 Asian adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. As the state with the largest AAPI population, I am proud that California will be passing a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to abortion health care in the great State of California.”
Sue Dunlap, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles added, “Adding a constitutional protection for abortion is precisely the clarity and reassurance patients and providers need in this moment of crisis. The patients we see in our health centers every day, those from California and the increasing number coming from out-of-state, depend on us to access the essential care they need and want, the care they need to control their own bodies and lives.”
She continued, “This effort sends a clear signal that California will continue to stand with them, protecting access not banning it, and doing everything possible to ensure everyone continues to have the power to control their own bodies and personal decisions.”