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Gavin Newsom wants California to help make most abortions free — even for the uninsured

By Lindsey Holden

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expanding his push to increase abortion care access — this time, by helping to fund the procedure for low- and middle-income people who don’t have health insurance.

Newsom on Wednesday released a preview of a new $57 million abortion care package he plans to include in the revised budget he’ll announce on Friday.

Most of the new funding — $40 million — will fund “grants to reproductive health care providers to offset the cost of providing care to low- and moderate-income individuals who do not have health care coverage for abortion care services,” a news release said.

Newsom wants to spend the majority of the additional $17 million on grants for community organizations to conduct outreach and education on sexual and reproductive health issues.

The remainder would go toward creating a “comprehensive reproductive rights website” and researching reproductive health care access issues.

The governor has been especially vocal about ensuring reproductive health care access in California since Politico published a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion showing justices are poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that guarantees federal abortion rights.

If the court invalidates that ruling, abortion access would be left up to states, a large chunk of which would likely move to ban the procedure entirely.

Following the draft opinion leak, Newsom joined legislative leaders in calling for an abortion rights amendment to the state constitution.

Lawmakers have also begun to share their own abortion stories as they speak out for access to reproductive health care. Assemblywoman Mia Bonta, D-Oakland, on Tuesday revealed she had an abortion at age 21, as she was finishing college.

“California will not stand idly by as extremists roll back our basic constitutional rights,” Newsom said in the release. “We’re going to fight like hell, making sure that all women — not just those in California — know that this state continues to recognize and protect their fundamental rights.”

Newsom has been working to make abortions free or very low-cost for most Californians throughout the course of the year. He has spoken openly about his desire to make California a “sanctuary” for abortion care for those living in states that may ban it.

The budget the governor released in January already included a $68 billion reproductive health care package with $20 million to help subsidize abortions for people insured by Covered California plans.

The federal government funds Covered California and and other Affordable Care Act plans, which means they come with restrictions on abortion care coverage.

Newsom in March also signed Senate Bill 245, which prohibits insurance companies from charging co-pays, deductibles or cost-sharing requirements for abortions and abortion-related services.

“We’re expanding access to these critical services, welcoming businesses and their employees fleeing anti-abortion states, and reaffirming our commitment to continuing to work closely with the Legislature and reproductive rights stakeholders to further solidify California’s leadership on abortion rights,” Newsom said in the release.

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Dive Deeper:
The End of Roe Heralds the Rise of Pro-Abortion, Big Government Policies
Liberal states don't want to treat abortion as a personal, private choice either. Instead, blue state policy makers want to…
Newsom budget will bolster California's abortion-sanctuary status
The Democratic governor will also announce an incentive program for companies located in states with abortion bans.
Gov. Newsom proposes record $300 billion California state budget with money for tax refunds
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s on Friday released a $300.6 billion spending plan that would fund tax rebates,…
Blue states want to become abortion safe havens. It will cost them.
Groups that operate clinics and run abortion access funds warn that they’ll need more money, more providers and more space…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Here’s what blue states have pledged with Roe v. Wade in flux
Democratic states are finding themselves in uncharted territory as they set up funds to support abortion access not only for…
Pro-choice states rush to pledge legal shield for out-of-state abortions
Impending end to legal abortion in half the states will strain capacity and resources in states preserving abortion access
Get all your news in one place