Activist state

State Legislature passes amendment to codify abortion rights

The California State Assembly on Monday passed a constitutional amendment that makes explicit the right to abortion and contraceptives, according to a press release from the state Senate.

The amendment, called SCA 10, was introduced by Pro Temp State Senate Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, according to the press release. SCA 10 will now be added to the November 2022 ballot, when state voters decide whether or not to codify into law.

According to a previous press release, the amendment was announced in early June on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion reversing Roe v. Wade, who set the legal precedent for abortion rights for 50 years. The decision was originally disclosed in May 2022.

“In California, privacy has meant abortion, but we have to be sure of that,” Atkins said during a media call on Friday, following the reversal of deer the same day. “We lose control when cases go to court, and therefore, it is necessary to enshrine abortion in the Constitution, and the right to have or refuse the use of contraception.”

The amendment prohibits the state from interfering with an “individual’s right to choose to have an abortion and to choose or refuse contraceptives,” according to the language of the amendment.

SCA 10 isn’t the only measure to address reproductive rights in the state, accompanying legislation introduced by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus that aims to protect abortion and a 2022 budget deal by CA Governor Gavin Newsom tailored funding for reproductive health services, according to the press release. The budget will be finalized and voted on later this week.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín commented on the city’s existing resolutions on abortion access and the statewide amendment.

“Last week’s decision was a dark day for America, eliminating a constitutional right to abortion and disproportionately affecting low-income people and people of color,” Arreguín said in an email. . “We stand firm in our commitment to support the right to choose and fully support a statewide constitutional amendment to codify this human right.”

While the SCA 10 and accompanying legislation are a recognition of reproductive rights, Bay Area Rise Up 4 for Abortion Rights activist Reiko Redmonde noted that it was necessary to take to the streets to bring about change. .

Redmonde said the amendment could hopefully spark even more protests and send a broader message to codify abortion rights at the federal level.

“Just because abortions are legal in California doesn’t mean people…with some power in different government or institutional positions won’t try to feel like they have some sort of mandate to take their own measures,” Redmonde said. “People need to be vigilant in California. The potential is there but we are not there yet.

Contact Ananya Rupanagunta at [email protected]and follow them on Twitter at @arupanagunta.