SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California lawmakers are vowing to protect abortion rights in the state while boosting access to resources.
There are more than a dozen proposals to try to increase abortion access and resources in California — not just for women living here but also for women out of state.
“We have more work to do, and if that work is legislative, we know how to do it; we’re prepared. If that work is political, we know how to do that, and we are prepared as well, because this is about the lives of our sisters, our daughters, our granddaughters,” said state Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.
Atkins announced she will propose a state constitutional amendment to protect legal abortion in California.
“That will make it crystal clear that reproductive rights in California, including and specifically abortion, are protected,” Atkins said.
The constitutional amendment will need to pass the legislature with a 2/3 vote by June 30 to get on the November ballot.
California Planned Parenthood CEO Jodi Hicks made it clear Tuesday that health centers are open and services are being provided. Her clinics and others are gearing up for a potential post-Roe v. Wade world
“I could not be more devastated for the people in other states that are going to be facing what they’re experiencing,” Hicks said.
According to Planned Parenthood’s abortion access map, more than half of U.S. states have abortion restrictions. Some could become even stricter if the Supreme Court sticks with the draft decision leaked Monday.
Anticipating a potential surge of out-of-state patients and with the goal to make it more accessible for those already in California, 13 bills are circulating through the State Legislature. The bills aim to boost the number of providers, financial assistance for patients and legal protections for health professionals who provide abortions.
“We don’t want to leave women in desperation, and we do not want deaths. So, we are going to do our best to create a welcoming and safe environment,” said state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.
With a statewide office and U.S. midterm election this fall, Democratic state leaders like Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis acknowledged the SCOTUS decision could energize the base.
“We’re going to fight back, and there’s no question the upcoming election in 2022 is going to give us the opportunity to elect more people who will stand with women and people everywhere who believe in a woman’s right to control our body,” Kounalakis said.
FOX40 reached out to leaders of the State Legislative Republican Caucus for comment but have not yet heard back.