What Others Are Saying: Lawmakers, Leaders, Advocates Vocalize Support for Constitutional Amendment to Enshrine Abortion, Contraception in California Constitution
SACRAMENTO – Elected leaders, reproductive justice organizations, advocates, and allies are vocalizing support for the constitutional amendment to protect abortion and contraception introduced on Wednesday, June 8 by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego).
SCA 10 would “amend the California Constitution to prohibit the state from denying or interfering with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives,” according to the bill’s language.
SCA 10 is joint-authored by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and is co-authored by 30 Senators and 52 Assemblymembers.
Here is what they are saying:
“California will not sit on the sidelines as unprecedented attacks on the fundamental right to choose endanger women across the country. This measure will ensure that women in our state have an inviolable right to a safe and legal abortion that is protected in our constitution. I thank Senate President pro Tempore Atkins and Assembly Speaker Rendon for their leadership and look forward to our continued partnership to advance California’s nation-leading commitment to protecting and strengthening access to reproductive health care services in our state.”
- Governor Gavin Newsom
“There is no such thing as outlawing access to abortion - there is only outlawing access to safe abortions. With this constitutional amendment, California will continue to be a national leader on protecting women's health. The great majority of Californians support a women's right to choose, and today, we are one step closer to making sure that there is absolutely no doubt about where we as a state stand on this issue.”
- Senator María Elena Durazo, Chair of the California Legislative Latino Caucus
“In California, we believe that individuals have a fundamental right to make deeply personal decisions about pregnancy, abortion, and access to healthcare. It is appropriate that our State Constitution reflect this essential truth. My colleagues in the Jewish Caucus and I are proud to coauthor SCA 10, and we look forward to working with our partners across the state to ensure that the right to reproductive freedom is enshrined in our State Constitution.”
- Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus
“Healthcare is a fundamental human right, which includes abortion. We must ensure that abortion is safe and accessible for all Californians. By ensuring that we continue to protect access to abortion, we ensure that we protect the lives of all women.”
- Assemblymember Evan Low, Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus
“Abortion access and reproductive freedom is an economic and racial justice issue and a crucial part of civil rights. It is not only a matter of bodily autonomy, but also one of self-determination. When people have the ability to decide if, when, and how many children to have, they are able to make conscious decisions about other aspects of their lives, including education and work.”
- Senator Steven Bradford, Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.
“As a doctor, I join my physician colleagues across our country to declare abortion is health care. These attacks on women’s health care by a Republican minority and a politicized Supreme Court allowed Texas to put a bounty on health professionals caring for women seeking abortions or miscarry and may end over 50 years of legal precedence by overturning Roe vs. Wade. AAPI women are targets for sexual harassment and violence because of racist stereotypes fetishizing, hypersexualizing and objectifying AAPI women; stereotypes rooted deep in American history. These attacks on women’s rights compound the danger to the health and lives of AAPI women and other women of color from racism and misogyny, which is why nearly 7 in 10 Asian adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. As the state with the largest AAPI population, I am proud that California will be passing a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to abortion health care in the great State of California.”
- Dr. Richard Pan, Senator and Chair of the California Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Legislative Caucus
“As the right to abortion and the underlying right to privacy come under increasing threat nationwide, California is once again leading the way to protect the right to access abortion and contraceptive care. We thank pro Tem Atkins for introducing SCA 10, and for her bold leadership during this moment of national crisis. Amending our state’s constitution to ensure people—regardless of what happens in states across the country—can indisputably get the essential health care they want and need here in California is crucial. The California Future of Abortion Council steering committee organizations look forward to supporting this groundbreaking measure as it advances through the legislative process. Once SCA 10 passes the legislature, California voters will weigh-in on this critical issue and have the opportunity to once again reaffirm that health care is a right, upholding California's values of health care access and equity – protecting abortion for generations to come.”
- California Future of Abortion Council Steering Committee (ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Essential Access Health, NARAL Pro-Choice California, National Health Law Program, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare [TEACH])
“Adding a constitutional protection for abortion is precisely the clarity and reassurance patients and providers need in this moment of crisis. The patients we see in our health centers every day, those from California and the increasing number coming from out-of-state, depend on us to access the essential care they need and want, the care they need to control their own bodies and lives. This effort sends a clear signal that California will continue to stand with them, protecting access not banning it, and doing everything possible to ensure everyone continues to have the power to control their own bodies and personal decisions.”
- Sue Dunlap, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
On Social Media:
“California will NEVER back down in the fight to protect a woman’s right to choose!”
- Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis (Twitter)
“Today California leaders announced a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights and contraception, #SCA10. This amendment will be crucial to protecting sexual and reproductive health care for years to come, and is especially important as #RoevWade may be overturned.”
- California Women’s Law Center (Twitter)
“California leaders just announced a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights and contraception! This is a huge deal and will be crucial to protecting sexual and reproductive health care for years to come. #SCA10 #ThisIsRJ”
Click here to read more about what members of the Future of Abortion Council are saying.
More about SCA 10:
SCA 10 is intended to protect the right to abortion and contraceptives in the California Constitution, and requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the Senate and Assembly to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. The governor’s signature is not required for SCA 10 to go before California voters, who would need to approve it by a simple majority for it to become law.
For more details about SCA 10, click here.
Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins