What Will California’s Constitutional Amendment Do on Abortion?

California voters to consider constitutional amendment in November Ensuring the right to abortion.

the basics

Senate will further codify Constitutional Amendment 10, if approved by voters The state’s already progressive reproductive rights, which provides any person of reproductive age with a “fundamental right to give birth to or choose a child and to obtain an abortion”. Currently, those rights are upheld by case law and statutory laws in California, but Senate President Pro Tem Tony Atkins (D-San Diego), who proposed the amendment, said hostile attacks on abortion access had led to Reassured them that they were not enough.

actual text

“The State shall not deny or interfere with the reproductive liberty of any person in its most intimate decisions, including their fundamental right to choose abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. The purpose of this section is by section 1. The constitutional right to guaranteed privacy and the constitutional right not to be deprived of the equal protection guaranteed by section 7. Nothing here limits or limits the right to privacy or equal protection.”

here it is Complete language of SCA 10.

California law allows a woman to have an abortion unless a physician determines that she “has one.” reasonable probability “continuous survival of the fetus outside the uterus without the application of extraordinary medical measures” or if the procedure is necessary to “protect the life or health of the woman”. Those rights are given to anyone who becomes pregnant, regardless of whether of any age.This includes minors who, under state law, may consent to an abortion without the knowledge of the parents.

State law does not determine the exact point in pregnancy when viability occurs, instead allowing a physician to make that determination based on “good faith medical judgment.” In most cases, doctors have considered the fetus viable at 24 weeks.


Abortion rights are protected in two ways under the California Constitution. The California Supreme Court held in 1969 that women have a fundamental right to choose whether to have children based on the right to privacy or freedom in matters relating to marriage, family, and sex.

“The court interpreted ‘freedom’ in the California Constitution, as the US Supreme Court did four years later in Roe v. Wade,” said Irwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.

In 1974, the state constitution was amended to include the right to privacy. Seven years later, the state’s Supreme Court concluded that constitutional privacy protections included a woman’s right to choose an abortion.

“California has been at the forefront of defending abortion rights and continues to move forward,” said Elizabeth Nash Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports reproductive health and abortion rights. “Anti-abortion anti-abortion is already wondering where they go next.”

Because support for abortion rights is very strong here, Chemerinsky said there are additional protections provided by the constitutional amendment. “More symbolic than anything.”

Why now?

California sees itself as a leader in the abortion rights movement, especially since The US Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.

“California will not back down from the fight to protect abortion rights, as more than half of the states in this country have been able, restricted or severely restricted by the Supreme Court,” Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Of potential voters in the state, 76 percent said they don’t want Roe vs. Wade to be reversed, according to a poll earlier this year. Nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California,

California has been preparing for months for the possibility that thousands of people will travel to the state from areas where restrictions have resumed. UCLA’s Center on Reproductive Health, Law and Policy released a report this month that estimated 8,000 to 16,000 more people would travel to California each year for abortion care. According to the report, Los Angeles County alone contains 9,400 more people from antiabortion states seeking care.

Newsom joins Friday Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announce the creation of a “West Coast Offensive” To protect access to reproductive care. The plan includes ongoing safeguards for out-of-state patients, efforts to protect medical professionals providing abortion services and prevent misinformation and expand access to care, the governors said.

Newsom issued an executive order Monday saying California will not share medical records with anti-abortion states or extradite doctors who care for patients seeking the procedure here.

What are supporters saying?

“We know from history that a ban on abortion does not end abortion,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), a co-author of SCA 10. “They only outlaw safe abortion. We must protect women’s fundamental reproductive rights here in California because they are being attacked elsewhere.”

Atkins said, “Today, we hope to enable voters to ensure reproductive rights in our Constitution, reflect California’s values, and protect everyone in our state who needs abortion, contraceptives, and other reproductive care.” provide a ray.”

How about critics?

Republicans raised concerns that the measure does not put restrictions on when abortions can be performed.

“If you believe in spirits and we are God’s creatures, when does a child get a soul?” Assembly member Randy Vopel (R-Santi) said. “You might want to think about it.”

Republican Assembly Leader James Gallagher (R-Uba City) said SCA 10 lacked clarity as to whether it would replace existing state law when allowing abortions after viability.

“It says nothing about the late period,” Gallagher said. “It doesn’t put any restrictions on it.”

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