Election’22: Views on California’s abortion rights proposal | news
Editor’s Note: This story is an ongoing collaboration between the Citizen and California State University, Sacramento’s journalism program. This fall, students contributed stories on issues affecting members of the Elk Grove community. You will be tutored by Philip Reese, a Sacramento Bee reporter and assistant professor of journalism.
Voters in Elk Grove and across California will decide in November whether to guarantee reproductive freedom in the state’s constitution.
Proposition 1 would amend the Constitution to “include expressly existing rights to reproductive freedom — such as the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion and the right to use contraceptives,” according to the state’s official voter guide.
Proponents of Proposition 1 say it would solidify their rights to reproductive autonomy and make it far more difficult for future governors or lawmakers to restrict access to abortion or contraception.
Opponents of the proposal say it is unnecessary and expensive. They argue that California already has laws protecting a person’s right to an abortion.
Abortion has been legal in the state since 1969 and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Elk Grove resident Kiana Kaur said, “I’m pro-abortion because it’s that person’s body, they can do with it what they want.”
Molly Weedn, a spokeswoman for Proposition 1, said the new measure “would take existing law and codify it into our constitution … we cannot take our reproductive freedoms for granted. They have been protected for 50 years before June.”
Current California law protects the right to reproductive privacy. The California Supreme Court has agreed that abortion rights fall under the right to privacy. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if a pregnancy is deemed medically viable (ie a fetus older than 24 weeks with no obvious abnormalities), an abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy poses a risk to the health and/or life of the mother .
Proponents of Proposition 1 want to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom in the state constitution to protect it for decades to come.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 49% of abortion patients live below the federal poverty line, while 59% are from women who already have children.
Elk Grove resident Jaspreet Singh said: “It’s nice to have the opportunity there, you know, for women who are insecure or not yet ready to become mothers.”
Proponents of Proposal 1 argue that the proposal would harm the state.
Tak Allen, President of the International Faith-Based Coalition, said: “While Proposition 1 claims that it will engrave this California abortion law statute into our constitution, unfortunately it drastically changes that statute. ”
Allen said if this proposal goes through, women could have abortions just before their due date. Currently, this option is legal in California only if the mother’s life is at risk during pregnancy.
One of the big questions surrounding Prop 1 is how much it will cost the state. Weedn said: “The Legislative Office has said there is no tax connection with this proposal.”
In California’s 2022-23 budget, approximately $200 million was allocated for abortion in the state, with an additional $20 million for people from abroad.
Sebya Gorre-Clancy, senior bookseller at A Seat at the Table Books on Laguna Springs Drive, said she decided one day to let the public know before they voted on Proposition 1 by hosting a book exhibition in it called “Bans Off Our Bodies” store. The purpose of the exhibition was to educate readers on the facts and science of women’s health.
“For the State of California to set a precedent that women have a fundamental right to reproductive freedom shows the rest of the country and the world that women are human and that the fundamental human right to bodily autonomy must be protected,” she said.
Sebya said she hopes her book exhibition will not only educate individuals, but also inspire them to do more for women’s rights.
“When it comes down to it – I don’t want the younger generation to have to fight a battle that my elders have already won,” she said.