Leaders have put abortion rights on the ballot. Will voters enshrine them in the California constitution?

California voters will decide whether to add an amendment to the state constitution that protects abortion rights.

On Sunday, reproductive rights advocates and world leaders, including Governor Gavin Newsom and US Senator Alex Padilla, gathered in Long Beach to encourage people to vote yes to Proposition 1 – a measure taken in response to the US Colonel’s ruling Court in June overturned the 1973 constitutional right to abortion.

“They’re going to be voting on our values ​​Tuesday, not just Californian values, but American values,” Newsom told a cheering crowd at a rally hosted by the California Democratic Party at Long Beach City College.

While abortion rights are already protected in California, state lawmakers are asking voters to approve a state constitutional amendment that would prevent Congress from repealing it in the future.

According to a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, voters in the state appear poised to vote yes to Prop. 1, with 69% of voters backing the measure.

If passed, paragraph 1 says: “The State shall not deny or interfere with a person’s reproductive freedom in his or her most intimate choices, including his fundamental right to choose an abortion and his fundamental right to choose or refuse contraception.”

California is among four US states where voters will decide on abortion-related measures on Tuesday. Democratic leaders have doubled down on abortion rights for the midterms in a bid to empower voters as they may lose control of the House and Senate.

Similar to California’s Prop. 1, actions in Michigan and Vermont focus on whether abortion is legalized in their constitutions.

By contrast, in Kentucky, where the Supreme Court ruling triggered an abortion ban, the measure would amend the state’s constitution to eliminate abortion rights. Proponents hope voters in Kentucky will reject the proposal, as did the majority of voters in Kansas, where a similar measure failed in August.

In Montana, where abortion is legal, a Republican-proposed measure requires voters to legalize an embryo or fetus that survives a failed abortion and would increase the potential for criminal penalties and fines against healthcare workers create those who do not care “to preserve the life of a live-born infant,” according to measurement language.

“Abortion is on the ballot everywhere in the United States, but especially here in California,” Padilla said, adding that the state would send “a strong message” to the rest of the country regarding its stance on reproductive rights. “California is fighting the national abortion ban because we refuse to go backwards.”

Jodi Hicks, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said Prop. 1 would “ensure that the Constitution is crystal clear (that) everyone in California has the basic right to reproductive liberty, including abortion and contraception.”

“The country is watching us,” she added.

Jessica Flores is a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @jesssmflores

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