In Light of Arizona’s Abortion Ban, California Legislative Women’s Caucus Proposes Urgency Bill to Aid Abortion Services

By Perla Chavez

SACRAMENTO, CA– Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday his collaboration with Chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus (LWC), Senator Nancy Skinner, and Vice Chair Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry to introduce SB 233, a new California abortion rights legislation, in response to Arizona’s ban on reproductive care.

As declared in the statement, urgency measure SB 233 permits abortion services to be promptly performed in California by Arizona reproductive care providers through the use of an expedited medical licensing process.

Skinner states in the announcement, “Anti-abortion forces have resurrected a dead law passed when women couldn’t vote and husbands beating their wives was lawful; it’s clear the real objective is to return women to second-class status.”

Skinner added, “With SB 233, the Legislative Women’s Caucus is taking our gloves off once again as we pursue every action necessary to protect women’s reproductive rights, especially the right to an abortion. California is standing strong for Arizonans and their doctors.”

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry explained, “For many years, but especially since the Dobbs decision, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus has led on all of the legislative responses to the attacks on abortion and reproductive rights.”

Aguiar-Curry noted, “We have passed legislation to expand, protect, and strengthen access to reproductive health care in our state, including access to safe abortions for all Californians, and refugees from other states seeking such care. Arizona’s courts, however, think Arizonans should live in 1864. So, to Arizona people of child-bearing age, and those who love and support them, we have your back, at least until you get the chance to reverse this attack on your rights on the Arizona ballot this November.”

The statement added, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes urged California among other states to permit Arizona abortion providers to continue serving Arizonans that travel out of state for reproductive care after Arizona’s Supreme Court upheld the state’s 160-year old ban on abortion earlier this month.

LWC leaders Skinner and Aguiar-Curry’s response provides an expedited licensing process that permits abortions to be performed in California by Arizona reproductive care providers. 

The statement indicates SB 233 reinforces California’s status as a prominent advocate for reproductive freedom nationwide. The legislation builds on 27 reproductive rights bills enacted within the last two years, introduced by LWC members, supported by the California Future of Abortion Council, and signed into law by the governor. 

Those 27 bills protect people that travel to California for reproductive care and California providers that serve patients from other states, the statement states, adding that in November 2022, California voters approved a ballot initiative to constitutionally safeguard the rights to abortion and contraception in the state. 

Sponsors said there has been a significant influx of patients in California from other states over the past year as states such as Arizona ban abortion. Since more than 25 million women of childbearing age live in states where abortion is banned, California providers expect the surge to continue.

The statement maintains if SB 233 is approved by both houses of the Legislature and signed by Gov. Newsom, the urgency measure would immediately take effect.

About The Author

Perla Chavez is a first-generation college student that has obtained a paralegal certificate from the UCLA Extension Paralegal Program. Her academic journey includes a major in Political Science with a focus on race, ethnicity, and politics at UCLA. Perla has actively contributed to social justice advocacy through internships with CHIRLA and the NAACP. Driven by her passion to recognize inequalities and advocate for the rights of others, Perla aspires to become an immigration lawyer. Apart from her dedication to academics and the legal field, she finds fulfillment in being a volunteer for the city of California City, spending quality time with family, and expressing creativity through painting.

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