A diverse bipartisan coalition of Californians is leading the charge against a ballot measure to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, including some pro-choice voters who find the proposed amendment “too extreme.”
“Our diverse coalition and the coalition itself take no position on the morality of abortion,” said Catherine Hadro, spokesperson for California together, not on proposition 1who held a press conference last Thursday at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
“Proposition 1 is extreme, it’s expensive, and it’s unnecessary,” Hadro said, adding that the measure would mean the state constitution would effectively guarantee “late abortion up to the time of birth, even if the mother and child are perfectly healthy.”
Hadro argued that the text of Proposition 1 is worded more vaguely than existing state law. “It puts California on par with China and North Korea instead of progressive nations like France and the Netherlands, and that’s not what Californians want.”
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The text of proposal 1which will be on the Nov. 8 ballot in California, reads in part: “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and her fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.”
Abortion under California state law is legal until fetal viability and permitted after viability if the life or health of the mother is in danger. Opponents of Proposition 1 argue that the broad language of the amendment would remove these restrictions.
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Dr. Pratima Gupta, a San Diego obstetrician-gynecologist involved in drafting the proposed amendment, told the California Radio KQED that the editors deliberately excluded the word “viability”, saying that each pregnancy is “individual” and a “continuum”. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists removed the term “viability” from its abortion advice in May.
Yes on proposal 1 spokeswoman Molly Weedn pushed back against claims that it would remove all abortion restrictions in California.
“Proposition 1 simply adds existing law to the California State Constitution, and anything to the contrary is nothing but fear and misinformation,” Weedn told Fox News Digital. “Nearly 60% of voters nationwide disagree with the Supreme Court’s sweeping decision to roll back reproductive health care, and Proposition 1 will ensure access to care will be protected in California, so that important medical decisions can remain between a person and their provider.”
Many California clerics and clergy across the state have voiced their opposition to Proposition 1, but Hadro explained that his 500-plus-member coalition’s arguments are not based on faith.
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At their press conference at the State Capitol last week, speakers included Republicans, Democrats, Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, a Muslim and an atheist.
“This was a rare time when Republicans for Choice and Democrats for Life agreed that Proposition 1 is too extreme in allowing subsequent abortion in the state of California,” said Hadro.
Tak Allen, who is president of the International Faith Based Coalition, told Fox News Digital that she was pro-choice but joined the opposition to Proposition 1.
“I’m a black woman,” said Allen, who also appeared on the recent Sacramento presser. “My immediate mindset goes to the disparities we experience in maternal care for black women.”
“Our maternal mortality rate is two and a half times the national average,” Allen continued. Even in health care systems that aren’t as overwhelmed and frenzied as California’s, she said, black women have “double the chance that something will go wrong for us, and we can’t give up. to have a baby.”
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A mother of four with another on the way, Allen said her last pregnancy was particularly difficult and she fears bringing in large numbers of out-of-state women seeking abortions will put a strain on her. straining an already overstretched public health care system.
Opponents of Proposition 1 also argue that the amendment could worsen the financial burden of California’s abortion laws on state taxpayers.
The Independent Office of the Legislative Analyst determined that Proposition 1 itself would have “no direct tax effect“, but added:” However, it is not clear whether a court could interpret the proposal to extend reproductive rights beyond existing law. If a court finds that the proposal extends those rights, there could be tax effects for the state.”
“We’ve seen the California legislature already set aside $220 million to expand abortion access in the state of California,” Hadro said. “20 million dollars of this is specifically dedicated to people traveling from out of state to California for an abortion. This will only increase with Proposition 1.”
She pointed to how Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign erected controversial billboards in several states where abortion is banned or restricted, urging women to come to California to abort their babies.
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“In fact, the California legislature has estimated that it will cost an additional $100 million over the next five years just to pay people coming from out of state to have abortions in California,” Hadro said. . “So Californians will be using their tax dollars to pay people who aren’t even residents of the state.”
“And finally, Proposition 1 is unnecessary, because everyone knows that abortion is and will remain legal in the State of California,” Hadro concluded, adding that politicians who support the measure are only “throwing money on a problem that doesn’t exist, because they’re trying to appeal to women voters before election day.”
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Despite vocal opposition, 71% of registered California voters support Proposition 1, according to a August poll by the Institute of Government Studies at UC Berkeley.