NewsCovering Kern County


CA lawmakers look to ensure reproductive rights for women

Posted at 4:15 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 19:15:21-04

(KERO) BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The right to reproductive freedom, which includes abortion and contraceptives, may soon become part of California’s state constitution.

Lawmakers voting Monday to pass the amendment, which will be on the ballot and decided by voters in November.

It’s the latest in officials’ efforts to ensure reproductive rights for all women who live in California or cross state lines to access abortion procedures.

The amendment was introduced following the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion in May suggesting Roe v. Wade was to be overturned.

Their official opinion on the landmark case had people on both sides of reproductive rights speaking out Friday and over the weekend.

ABC News reports 7 states now enforcing bans with few exceptions. An additional 18 are likely to ban or severely restrict services.

Health officials concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision will negatively impact some populations more than others.

“People of color, undocumented people, as well as incarcerated people, adolescents, people with disabilities, who simply won’t have the option to travel long distances to obtain an abortion,” said Dr. Ushma Upadhyay, an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at the University of California, San Francisco.

The White House says it will challenge states that try to bar women from traveling across state lines to receive abortion services.

Studies from the Guttmacher Institute show 49% of abortion patients have an income below the poverty line.

ABC News says some lawmakers in Missouri considering legislation to make it more difficult to cross state lines for abortion care.

"If somebody calls a Planned Parenthood clinic in Springfield Missouri, they're scheduling an appointment at the Fairview Heights Clinic across in Illinois, “ said Rep. Elizabeth Coleman (R). “So that's Missouri activity that's violating the laws of the state of Missouri."

In California, women in certain counties already having to travel to get the procedure.

Data from Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health shows the number of abortion clinics in California counties varies.

While the report shows two clinics open in Kern County, others including Inyo, Tulare and Kings have none. Ventura, Fresno and San Bernadino have three to four clinics while Los Angeles County has 56.

Also Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announcing they had reached an agreement on the framework for the 2022/2023 budget.

California will become the first state in the nation to provide health care to all low-income undocumented residents.