California Governor Newsom Proposes Expedited Licensing for Arizona Abortion Providers

California to help Arizona abortion providers practice in the state, as the state's Supreme Court upholds a 164-year-old abortion ban. Newsom's move aims to expand access and counter restrictive policies in red states.

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Rizwan Shah
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California Governor Newsom Proposes Expedited Licensing for Arizona Abortion Providers

California Governor Newsom Proposes Expedited Licensing for Arizona Abortion Providers

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to introduce emergency legislation this week to help abortion providers in neighboring Arizona continue providing care to Arizonans by potentially practicing in California. This move comes in response to the Arizona Supreme Court's decision to uphold an 1864 abortion ban, which is set to take effect on May 1, 2024, preventing access to the procedure in nearly all circumstances.

Newsom's office is working closely with the California Legislative Women's Caucus and Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes to quickly and effectively respond to the impending reenactment of the 164-year-old law. The proposed legislation would offer an expedited licensing process, allowing Arizona abortion providers to treat patients who travel to California for abortions.

This effort is part of California's ongoing preparations for an influx of abortion seekers from other states following the U.S. Supreme Court's 2022 decision to overturn the national right to abortion. Newsom has touted California as a destination for women in states with abortion restrictions to receive the procedure and has vowed not to cooperate with states that attempt to penalize those leaving to seek an abortion.

Why this matters: The proposed legislation highlights the growing divide between states on the issue of abortion rights and the potential impact on women's access to reproductive healthcare. As more states implement restrictive abortion laws, California's efforts to support out-of-state patients could set a precedent for other states to follow.

Newsom also debuted a new political advertisement that calls attention to Republican policies in Alabama, depicting two young women being stopped by a police officer and asked to take a pregnancy test as they drive toward the Alabama state line. The ad, called "Fugitive," is part of Newsom's campaign against so-called "abortion travel bans" in red states and his ongoing attempts to denounce conservative campaigns trying to hinder reproductive rights.

California has already passed laws to expand access to abortions and allocated $200 million for reproductive health care, but the state has struggled to build new clinics and train new providers. Allowing Arizona doctors to practice in California could help ease the strain on the state's abortion services, as it has seen a 17% increase in Planned Parenthood patients post-Dobbs.

Newsom criticized former President Donald Trump's stance on abortion, saying, "He's a liar who will say whatever he needs to on the issue." The governor plans to campaign in the swing states of Arizona and Nevada on the issue of abortion, hoping to help deliver a presidential win to Biden and keep the Senate. Ballot measures regarding abortion will be on the ballot in Arizona in November, and multiple other states have pursued similar ballot measures, which have helped Democrats in recent elections.

Key Takeaways

  • CA to introduce legislation allowing AZ abortion providers to practice in CA
  • Legislation aims to maintain abortion access for Arizonans amid 1864 ban
  • CA positioning itself as a destination for women seeking abortions
  • Newsom criticizes Trump's stance on abortion, plans to campaign on issue
  • Abortion ballot measures in swing states could impact 2024 elections