Gov. Gavin Newsom has implemented strict privacy measures for patients and increased California’s budget for services. But as California strives to be a sanctuary for abortion seekers from around the country, providers are still struggling to serve those in state.
BY ABIGAIL TRACY
AUGUST 5, 2022
As a growing number of states across the country continue to ravage reproductive rights after the fall of Roe v. Wade, advocates and policymakers in California are sending a message. “We’re becoming not just a haven state sort of in theory, although that’s important,” Jodi Hicks, the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said. “But also we’re becoming a state that won’t comply with other states. We just won’t comply.”
California has long held some of the strongest protections for abortion access in the country. But last October, when the Supreme Court first chose not to halt Texas S.B. 8, which bans abortions at six weeks without exception—months before they unraveled federal abortion protections in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—the check engine light came on. The impact was immediate as patients from Texas began traveling to California seeking care. And suddenly, Hicks explained, providers were faced with a series of new legal questions regarding their care. Reproductive rights advocates went into overdrive.