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Proposed Amendment Seeks To Guarantee Abortion In California’s Constitution

A large group of protesters walk in the street. Some hold signs reading "Rich Women Will Still Have Abortions" and "Make California A Sanctuary."
A woman holds a sign reading "Rich Women Will Still Have Abortions" as pro-choice activists march in protest after gathering outside the U.S. Courthouse to defend abortion rights in downtown Los Angeles on May 3, 2022.
(Frederic J. Brown
AFP via Getty Images)
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Democratic state lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday to enshrine the right to an abortion — and to use or refuse contraceptives — in the California Constitution.

If the proposal passes, the decision to add it as a constitutional amendment would be up to California voters.

State Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins co-authored the measure and said the leak of a draft opinion, indicating the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, suggests the right to privacy is not enough to protect access to reproductive care.

"It is important for us to ensure our residents in California know that they are going to continue to have this right and we're going to make sure that it withstands legal challenge by making sure that we support it in our Constitution,” she said.

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The San Diego Democrat says the proposed amendment would not expand reproductive freedoms — just prevent them from being taken away in the future.

It needs two-thirds approval from the state legislature before the end of the month to get on the November ballot.

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