The new Conservative majority in the US Supreme Court is considering whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark judgment of 1973 that banned states from banning abortion. If they do, at least 26 states are likely to either ban abortion directly or severely restrict access, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and political organization that supports abortion rights.
It would force many women to travel to other states for abortions, prompting democratically-led states like California to propose and pass new laws to prepare for them. Last week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a law aimed at banning legal action against people who help or receive an abortion, a measure that responds to a law in Texas that allows people to sue abortion providers or those who help them.
Oregon lawmakers included $ 15 million in their state budget to help pay for people traveling to the state to have an abortion. California has a similar bill, one of 14 bills aimed at expanding and protecting abortion access in the country’s most populous state. The bills were inspired by a report from the Future of Abortion Council, a group Newsom convened last year to advise him on how he should react if Roe v. Wade were to be overthrown.
“We are looking at 26 states that will impose some form of ban and restriction on abortion, so you have the other half of the country to prepare for how we take care of these patients,” said Jodi Hicks, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood Affiliates in California. “We all imagine and try to prepare properly for what that impact will be.”
California already requires health insurance companies to cover abortions. But insurance companies often charge things like co-pays and deductibles, which can add an average of $ 543 to the cost of a medical abortion and $ 887 to the cost of a procedural abortion, according to an analysis from the California Health Benefits Review Program.
The law Newsom signed on Tuesday removes those fees. While the law will make abortions cheaper, it will also increase the monthly premiums for patients and their employers a bit. But the savings from eliminating the fees will outweigh the increased premiums, according to an analysis from the California Health Benefits Review Program.
“When states across the country try to move us backwards by restricting fundamental reproductive rights, California continues to protect and promote reproductive freedom for all,” Newsom said.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide this summer whether to uphold a law in Mississippi that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. During a public hearing on the case last year, a majority of the judges stated that they were willing to uphold the law and even overturn Roe v. Wade.
That case has given rise to swift action in state legislatures across the country. Last week, lawmakers in Idaho sent a bill to the governor that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. In Missouri, lawmakers passed a bill that would make it illegal for state residents to have abortions in other states.
However, states like California are preparing proposals to address these measures. They include bills banning the publication of abortion records to police or other entities outside the state and protecting patients and providers from civil liability. They wanted to expand California’s abortion workforce so that some practicing nurses could perform the procedure without the supervision of a physician and create a scholarship program for people studying reproductive health who agree to work in underserved areas.
And they would set up funds that would help pay for people to have abortions, including compensating providers that provide free care to low-income patients and helping with things like travel, lodging and child care for women seeking the procedure in California.
“This legislative package is robust, it’s brave, it’s responsive and innovative, and that’s exactly what we need right now,” said Amy Moy, head of external affairs for Essential Access Health and a member of the steering group for the future of abortion. Advice. “We have a unique opportunity and an urgent responsibility to ensure that anyone seeking time-sensitive and potentially life-changing abortion treatment within our state’s borders can do so with dignity and respect and security.”
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