What a Roe v. Wade Repeal Would Mean for California

In more than 20 states without such protections, abortion would probably quickly become illegal or substantially restricted if Roe were overturned. An America without Roe is not one without any legal abortion, but one with wildly unequal access.

That has California leaders and activists thinking well beyond our state.

Jodi Hicks, the head of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, addressed not only Californians but also “people who may seek care here due to hostile bans in their home state” in a statement Monday night.

A reversal of Roe could drive up the number of women from out of state whose nearest abortion provider would be in California to 1.4 million from 46,000, according to Guttmacher. We previously reported that California’s Planned Parenthood clinics in 2020 treated 7,000 patients from other states.

“This is the nightmare scenario we in the reproductive health, rights and justice space have been sounding the alarm about,” Hicks said. “We will do all we can to continue to provide abortion services to all who need it or seek it here in California.”

The state has more than 160 clinics offering the procedure statewide, and activists have been making contingency plans for months in anticipation of a reversal.

Democratic lawmakers, who dominate the Legislature, have passed laws to expand abortion access and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients. Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego, is also carrying legislation authorizing experienced nurse practitioners to perform first-trimester abortions without the supervision of a physician.

A Berkeley Democrat, Nancy Skinner, has introduced a bill that would create a website for women to easily find abortion providers, and a “travel fund” to pay for the airfare, gas, lodging, meals, child care, translators and even doula support for out-of-state women seeking abortions in California.

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