Governor Gavin Newsom said California will be an abortion ‘sanctuary.’ The Supreme Court weighs in on two cases from MS and TX that could restrict women’s access to abortions overturning Roe v. Wade. However, California is on track to become the country’s largest reproductive care provider, welcoming patients from other states. The justices heard arguments involving the law in MS prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks. In addition, TX law bans abortions after six weeks, which went into effect in the fall.
California abortion providers already see the impact of these cases. Jodi Hicks, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, says, “We have been seeing a ripple effect of folks needing to come in and seek services outside of the place that they live.” In 2020, Planned Parenthood accepted more than 7,000 patients from Texas. “We saw an average of one to two patients a day, and that’s just one state. [For] patients traveling from Texas or trying to get appointments in a neighboring state, if that state was impacted in full, some of those folks have to go elsewhere.”
How CA Will Help
If the Supreme Court sides with TX and MS, many patients will come from those states. CA could potentially see a 3000% increase in out-state patients per reports. Governor Newsom declared CA would be a refuge for women seeking abortions. “In California, we will ensure that women continue to have access to critical health care services, including abortion, and California will continue to lead the nation in expanding access to reproductive and sexual health care.”
Back in September, the Future of Access to Abortion Council. Their goal is to examine barriers to abortion services and what health care providers need to do to prepare. Recently, the council released policy recommendations for the state about ways to preserve and increase access to abortion in CA. One idea on the table is increasing financial support for abortion services. Meaning helps cover the cost of women who need to travel to CA for their abortion. Another thing under review is speeding up the process for qualified providers, says Hicks. “If we have physicians that were operating — say in Texas — and they want to come out to California, how can we expedite them being licensed in California? How do we house and incentivize providers to come to California?”
Taking away a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body is wrong. Furthermore, you should not feel ashamed if you decide to terminate a pregnancy, whether for personal or medical reasons. It is refreshing to see Governor Newsom stepping up to help women in need.