BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — In California, many voters have already received their ballots for the 2022 midterm elections. This year, there are seven statewide ballot propositions to consider. As part of our election coverage, 23ABC will be taking an in-depth look at each of them.
Proposition 1 is meant to protect the reproductive rights of women and those who can bear children, and solidify access to abortion services and birth control in California, regardless of which political party is in control of the the legislature.
Prop 1 would amend the state Constitution and add language that guarantees reproductive freedom, which currently isn’t explicitly defined.
This means the people will have the right to access abortion and the right to choose or refuse contraceptives without any interference from the state.
Proposition 1 is in the spotlight after the United States Supreme Court ruled against federal protections for abortion, instead leaving it to each state to set individual restrictions around abortion and other reproductive rights.
Those who support voting ‘yes’ on Prop 1, including the California Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the League of Women Voters of California, argue that codifying reproductive rights in the state Constitution will reinforce existing protections for women in California seeking abortions or contraceptives.
Proponents say that by adding to the language already in the state constitution, reproductive health care will remain a medical decision instead of a political one. Advocates also say that voters acting on the measure could inspire other states to enshrine specific reproductive rights into law.
Those who advocate for a ‘no’ vote on Prop 1, including the California Republican Party, the California Catholic Conference, and California Alliance of Pregnancy Care, say the measure is unnecessary to protect reproductive rights and is too broadly written.
Critics of the proposition warn that language in the the amendment could provoke lengthy court battles, which would cost California taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees. They also say that Prop 1 would do away with existing regulations that limit abortions after the fetus has reached 24 weeks’ gestation.
Currently, abortions after 24 weeks’ gestation are only legal in California if the mother’s life or health is threatened. Those advocating for a ‘yes’ vote on Proposition 1 says the measure will not change this.
Proposition 1 isn’t expected to cost the state anything to implement, as the rights the proposition seeks to solidify are already in full effect under state law.