California is moving to dramatically expand and fund the number of abortions performed in the state. Its motivation: the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade this summer.
If the court overturns Roe, the issue of abortion would then be regulated by the states. California is nationally known for its abortion-friendly laws and policies and is positioning itself to serve as an abortion sanctuary for women in states that would implement abortion bans in a post-Roe America.
The state's Future of Abortion Council, led by Senate President pro-Tempore Toni Atkins, Planned Parenthood, and other abortion leaders, says abortions in California could increase exponentially in such a scenario.
In a late December report, the council cited Guttmacher Institute statistics showing the number of out-of-state women driving to California for abortions could increase from 46,000 to 1.4 million – close to a 3,000% spike.
It's a trend the council welcomes. Atkins said she hopes the state will "shape public policy so that California can keep forging ahead along the path of progress and understanding and continue to serve as a beacon of hope for the rest of our nation."
But pro-life advocates like Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council, are sounding the alarm.
Keller called the Future of Abortion Council's report "shocking" and said he's especially concerned about Gov. Newsom's plans to use the state's budget surplus to expand funding, not only for abortions for California residents but also for out-of-state women.
"Gavin Newsom is actually talking about paying people, paying women with unplanned pregnancies to fly to the state of California, to pay for their hotel rooms, to cover all of their work-related expenses if they have to take unpaid time off so that they can come there and end the lives of their unborn children," he said.
Keller warned of other red flags in the abortion council's report. It plans to push back on religious liberty by calling for religiously-affiliated hospitals to provide abortions.
It also calls on the state to "combat...harmful and misleading information perpetuated by crisis pregnancy centers."
Anne O'Connor, the vice president of legal affairs for the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), calls that a false narrative. NIFLA has 147 member centers in California.
O'Connor told CBN News that 120 of NIFLA's California centers are state-licensed medical facilities with ultrasound capabilities.
She also noted NIFLA's 2018 Supreme Court win against the state.
"The state of California has continued this false dialogue that pregnancy centers are misleading," she said. "They've tried many things over the years and lost."
O'Connor predicted that out-of-state women traveling to California for abortions will take advantage of crisis pregnancy centers which offer ultrasounds at no cost.
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