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California lawmakers ready to include abortion protections in state constitution

Gavin Newsom
Posted at 8:41 AM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 08:42:47-04

The state of California plans to take action after a leaked draft opinion suggests that the Supreme Court could be poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

That's according to a Politico report released Monday.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, along with Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, plan to propose an amendment in its state constitution to ensure permanent abortion protection.

“We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution. Women will remain protected here,” the lawmakers wrote in a statement.

A supermajority vote in both of the state’s legislative houses would be required before the constitutional amendment can make its way to the November ballot.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade is due to a case concerning Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks.

The law was blocked by lower courts because it directly conflicts with the Supreme Court’s decisions in 1973’s Roe v. Wade and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed the landmark abortion decision.

A decision to overrule Roe would lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states and could have huge ramifications for this year’s elections.

But it’s unclear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter — opinions often change in ways big and small in the drafting process.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman said the court had no comment.