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Lawmakers Look To Expand Protections For Out-Of-State Women Seeking Abortions In California

An older white woman stands in a crowd holding a sign that reads: "I am tired from holding this sign since the 1960's."
A woman holds a sign referencing how long the fight over abortion rights has been going on.
(Ashley Balderrama for LAist)
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State lawmakers are working on a number of bills to provide protection for anyone seeking reproductive care in California.

The proposals range from making abortions financially accessible for patients that lack health insurance, AB 2134, to protecting the information of patients from out-of-state, AB 2091.

Assemblymember Mia Bonta, who represents much of Oakland in Northern California, says she's seeking an urgency clause for her bill that would block subpoenas from other states seeking information about someone who comes to California for an abortion.

"We in California trust women and birthing people to make difficult, heart-wrenching decisions of whether and when to have a family," said Bonta, speaking at a Tuesday press conference about the possible effect on women of color if Roe v. Wade is overturned. "Let's continue providing women, here and across the country, with the tools they need to continue to make that choice."

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Bonta says she got an abortion when she was 21. She had recently graduated from Yale University and just landed her first job.

"I chose to make a decision that would allow me to recognize ending the cycle of poverty in my family," said Bonta, who thanked her husband, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, for supporting her when she decided to have that abortion.

Now she worries her daughters and women of color will have fewer protections and rights than she did if Roe v. Wade is overturned. A recently leaked draft opinion indicates the high court may be poised to do so.

“As a woman of color, I can't help but think about how the Supreme Court's decision will disproportionately impact women of color,” Bonta said, "because right now, women of color are more likely to live in states with the most restrictive abortion laws."

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"Should Roe be overturned, Black women, Latina women, API women, Native American women across the country will be criminalized and unable to make a decision they need to make to literally save their own lives," Bonta said.

What questions do you have about Southern California?