Legislature

Abortion amendment makes its way through state legislature

California lawmakers aren’t waiting to see what happens to Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court. They have already begun passing legislation to protect abortion rights in the state, including a proposed constitutional amendment.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said the leaked draft of a court ruling that would overturn Roe was “very discouraging.”

Atkins is the author of several reproductive rights bills, including SCA 10, which would amend the state constitution to include the following: “The state shall not deny or interfere with the reproductive freedom of an individual 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”.

Atkins says the right to abortion must be spelled out in the constitution to guarantee it.

“We had the luxury of privacy rights in our state constitution. However, this leaked opinion called that into question, she said. “He was basically saying that the right to privacy is not guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. That’s causing problems in California, because our abortion rights are also centered on that right to privacy. So we want to than the California constitution that we have the right to abortion, not just privacy as we have defined it in the past for the past 50 years.”

SCA 10 has already passed the state senate and is making its way through the assembly. But as a constitutional amendment, it is also expected to be approved by voters in the November ballot.

“I have faith in the voters,” Atkins said, adding that polls show most people are for reproductive rights, regardless of political party.

The Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research at UC San Diego conducted its own survey of what drives voters to vote.

“Our polls showed that after people read this article about abortion rights, they were much more likely to say they would definitely vote in November… This effect [was] strongest among Democrats,” said Thad Kousser, co-director of the center. “We also saw that this fact was particularly strong among young women … a swing voter.

Kousser said Republicans so far are the most excited to vote, driven by issues like inflation and gas prices, but the abortion issue could be a game-changer. . “If you get young women to the polls and show that the Democratic Party is with them on this issue, that could be what Democrats need to do to get the deal done on taking some of those House seats in California.” , did he declare.

We contacted several abortion rights opponents for comment, but received no response. The California Family Council, an anti-abortion rights group, called SCA 10 “extreme and deadly.” They are planning a March for Life rally at the State Capitol on Wednesday.