California: Abortion Providers, Legislators Provide ‘Safe Haven’ Plan if Roe Overturned

California: Abortion Providers, Legislators Provide 'Safe Haven' Plan if Roe Overturned California: Abortion Providers, Legislators Provide 'Safe Haven' Plan if Roe Overturned Abortion rights advocates rally to protest new restrictions on abortions, May 21, 2019, in West Hollywood, California. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

By Luca Cacciatore | Wednesday, 08 December 2021 05:55 PM

Abortion clinics and their allies in the California state legislature revealed a plan on Wednesday to make the state a “sanctuary” for those seeking abortions, including paying for travel, lodging, and procedures.

The California Future of Abortion Council comprises more than 40 abortion providers. The group released a list of 45 recommendations for the state to consider if the high court overturns the near 50-year abortion rights precedent Roe v. Wade.

“We’ll be a sanctuary,” Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an interview last week with The Associated Press, “We are looking at ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections.”

California is one of six states that require private insurance companies to cover abortions and pays for abortions for many low-income residents through the state’s Medicaid program.

Planned Parenthood said it served 7,000 people from other states last year in California. Fabiola Carrion, interim director for reproductive and sexual health at the national Health Law Program, said an influx “will definitely destabilize the abortion provider network.”

“We’re looking at how to build capacity and build workforce,” said Jodi Hicks, CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “It will take a partnership and investment with the state.”

Abortion opponents in California are also preparing for a surge of patients from other states seeking the procedure, touting their existing 160 pregnancy resource centers whose aim is to convince women not to get abortions.

“Even if we are not facing any immediate legislative opportunities or legislative victories, it’s a reminder that the work of changing hearts and minds and also providing real support and resources to women facing unplanned pregnancies — that work will always continue,” said Jonathan Keller, president and CEO of the California Family Council.

“In many ways, that work is going to be even more important, both in light of Supreme Court’s decision and in light of whatever Sacramento decides they are going to do in response,” he added.

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