As states around the country continue to outlaw abortions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law 13 abortion protection and reproductive health bills on Tuesday, his office announced in a press release.
The bills signed into law increase the number of health care providers, expands access to birth control, and provide protection from criminal and civil liabilities for residents in and out of the state. Alongside the bills passed today, the state recently launched a publicly funded website that makes it easier for those seeking abortions to find assistance.
“This new website,” president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, Jodi Hicks, said in a statement in the release. “is a critical resource, providing essential information to patients in and out of California, and can hopefully serve as a model for the rest of the nation.”
Gov. Newson has stated his hope for making California a sanctuary state for people within and without California seeking to avoid criminal or civil charges—going so far as to promote the website on billboards in six states with the most restrictive abortion bans.
“An alarming number of states continue to outlaw abortion and criminalize women, and it’s more important than ever to fight like hell for those who need these essential services. We’re doing everything we can to protect people from any retaliation for accessing abortion care while also making it more affordable to get contraceptives,” Newsom said in Tuesday’s release. “Our Legislature has been on the frontlines of this fight, and no other legislative body in the country is doing more to protect these fundamental rights—I’m proud to stand with them again and sign these critical bills into law.”
The bill package, which includes over $200 million in new funding, aims to help people seeking care in California and support the community organizations and providers doing the groundwork. In addition, the bill package launched a new Multi-State Commitment, eliminated copays for abortion care services and will allow voters to amend the state’s constitution, guaranteeing the right to abortion.
“California is committed to upholding and expanding protections that ensure reproductive health care is a right and not a privilege,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health & Human Services Agency said. “The legislative package signed into law strengthens the budget actions taken by the Governor earlier this summer to protect and expand reproductive care in California, while also breaking down the barriers that have caused historic inequities in access and the health outcomes of our most vulnerable communities. We stand ready to deliver on this vision of a Healthy California for All, which protects the health and wellbeing of anyone seeking critical reproductive services in California.”