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Historic California Constitutional Amendment Reinforcing Protections for Reproductive Freedom Goes Into Effect

California adds explicit protections for reproductive freedom, including abortion care and contraception, into state constitution less than 6 months after US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

VIDEO: Governor Newsom on California adding this historic amendment and crucial protections

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom, joined by state leaders, issued the following statements on Proposition 1 – overwhelmingly approved by voters this November – which takes effect today. Proposition 1, which was introduced as SCA 10, amends the state constitution to enshrine protections for reproductive freedom, including abortion care and contraception.

“Californians stood up to the rollback of fundamental rights this year, ensuring women have a right to abortions and reproductive freedoms,” said Governor Newsom. “No other state responded as comprehensively as California in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade nearly 6 months ago. These fundamental rights are now protected in our state for generations to come.”

California’s constitutional amendment comes as politicians in other states continue their attacks to limit or outright ban access to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade less than 6 months ago. In Indiana, the state Attorney General has threated a health care provider who assisted a 10-year old who had been raped, in Florida Governor DeSantis is pursuing more extreme restrictions, in Texas lawmakers are continuing their push of extreme and dangerous anti-abortion legislation, and Virginia Governor Youngkin is seeking new budget allocations to jail women and doctors over abortion.

“Since the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case this summer, California has refused to accept that anyone except an individual and their healthcare provider should be involved in making decisions about their bodies” said Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. “I am so proud that Californians turned out and voted overwhelmingly to enshrine the right to contraception and abortion into our state constitution, ensuring California will continue to lead the nation in guaranteeing the strongest possible protections for these fundamental rights.”

“California is a reproductive freedom state through and through – and today we make that undeniably clear by enshrining the right to choose in our state’s Constitution,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “During this dark moment when reproductive rights are under attack across the nation, California continues to be a bright light for freedom, fundamental rights, and safety. As California’s chief law enforcement officer, I will continue to protect and preserve the reproductive freedom of all Californians.”

“As the ink dries on SCA 10, one message is loud and clear: in California, abortion and access to contraception are rights, and a conversation that will remain where it belongs — between an individual and their provider,” said President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), who authored the constitutional amendment. “I am thrilled that voters stood up to protect generations of Californians and our right to make decisions about our own bodies. While we made historic progress this year, our work is far from over, and my colleagues in the California Women’s Caucus and I are committed to continuing to lead the nation in developing policies that will strengthen and expand reproductive rights and access in our state.”

“The fundamental essence of this constitutional amendment is reason, compassion and justice. In passing this, California has shown that it will defend those principles,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. “We will protect and defend a woman’s right to privacy and autonomy when it comes to making deeply personal decisions about her reproductive health. That is what is reasonable, compassionate and just. It is what is right.”

Anticipating the possible reversal of Roe v. Wade, California leadership announced SCA 10, which became Proposition 1, to shore up protections for abortion care and contraception in California. This effort was part of California’s historic response to protect reproductive health care, including abortion care, and cementing our state as a national leader and beacon of hope for people across the country.