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Morning Brief: Waiting on Supreme Court Abortion Ruling. What’s at Stake?

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
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AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Tuesday, June 21.

Time surely is flying. Father’s Day and Juneteenth celebrations have wrapped up and it is officially the very FIRST day of summer, baby! But before we get out our swimming suits and hit Santa Monica beach, I’ve got to shake you up a little and alert you to potentially ground-breaking news that could come as early as this morning.

All eyes are on the Supreme Court this week and next, watching for its opinion on the abortion case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The court is expected to drop decisions today and Thursday. We just don't know if Dobbs will be included. There are also decision days NEXT week but, again, the timing on a Dobbs decision is unknown. Once that opinion is handed down, we will have the latest on LAist. Please continue to check back with us.

What is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and why does it matter?

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Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is an up-in-the-air Supreme Court case about the legality of a 2018 Mississippi state law that barred most abortion operations after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy - about nine weeks before the point of fetal viability that’s been cited in Roe and later court rulings over abortion rights.

It was just last month that Politico published a leaked draft of the Dobbs opinion, indicating the court would overturn Roe v. Wade and end a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. Now, this was just a DRAFT but, with a majority conservative court, most observers expect the scales to tip against Roe. I, frankly, am still having a hard time believing this. Women around the country could lose autonomy over their own bodies if the abortion regulations are left to the states. Even The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah pointed out in an episode last month that men get more support for their reproductive health than women do.

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Now, California is an extremely liberal state with the easiest abortion access in the nation. And our Democratic state lawmakers just introduced a bill that would secure the right to have an abortion earlier this month. But the federal ruling still matters here.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion without Roe. Not only could it create a path for several states in the U.S. to deny abortion access to its residents, but California will likely become a safe haven for those seeking abortions. That means abortion service in California could increase almost 3,000%.

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The decision could come anytime this week or the next. We do not know exactly when so make sure you check LAist for the latest news.

As always, I hope you stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Today, more than 900 vaccination sites open up in L.A. County to offer vaccines to children as young as 6 months.
  • Another mountain lion was struck and killed by a vehicle this weekend, marking the 29th death of its kind in the Santa Monica Mountains in the last two decades. 
  • The Jackie Robinson statue at the Dodger’s Stadium just got a new companion Saturday. Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax said it’s one of the "greatest honors" of his life to get a statue alongside his former teammate.
  • As wildfires continue to rage in California, an investigation by The California Newsroom found that Cal Fire, the state department responsible for fighting them, is failing to do enough to stop them.
  • A month after the Uvalde shooting, children bravely played in the Little League All-Star Championship, honoring the memory of teammates they lost.

Before You Go...Young Taiwanese Americans Reflect on Their Identity

Photo collage of six Taiwanese American women and men in the 20s and 30s.
Clockwise from top left to bottom left: Leona Chen, Stephanie Hu, Justin Kuo, Marc Liu, Michelle Mann Yun Wei, Sam Wang
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It’s been a month since a 68-year-old, Taiwan-born gunman went inside a church in Laguna Woods and opened fire killing a doctor and injuring five people. Investigators say the shooter was driven by his political hatred for Taiwan. This not only shocked Taiwanese immigrants living here, as well as their U.S.-born children, but, as my colleague Josie Huang reports, it stirred up old tensions and political complexities over China-Taiwan relations. “We call it the immigrant time capsule, right? Where Taiwan exists in your mind, as it was when you left,” said Leona Chen, editor of the website TaiwaneseAmerican.org.

What does it feel like to be a U.S.-born child, or grandchild, of Taiwanese immigrant parents? It could be very complex when you have parents that are still traumatized by China and Taiwan politics. My colleague Josie talked to six young Taiwanese Californians about their experiences after the Laguna Woods church attack brought Taiwan’s difficult history into the light.

Highlight from the story:

Sam Wang, 37, recalled a wedding he attended in Orange County for two Taiwanese American friends. The father of the groom proclaimed his son’s favorite color is green — the color of the pro-independence movement in Taiwan — and played a public service announcement encouraging Taiwanese Americans to write in their identity on census forms.

“I was just like, ‘Yo, dude, come on. Why do you have to make this so political?’” Wang said.

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