Attorney General Bonta: California Won’t Backslide, We’ll Keep Fighting to Strengthen and Expand Access to Safe and Legal Abortion

Friday, June 24, 2022
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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

“This is a dark moment for our country,” said Attorney General Bonta. “This court’s decision is outrageous, unprecedented, and dangerous. It blasts our nation back into the dark ages. Millions are now facing a stark reality when it comes to their right to choose. People all across the nation — their bodies, futures, and families — will be hurt by this decision. But, in California, we refuse to turn back the clock and let politicians exert control over a person’s body. Despite the decision, abortion remains fully protected here in California. We’ll keep fighting to strengthen and expand access to safe and legal abortion. As Attorney General, I will use the full force of the law and the full authority of my office to protect reproductive healthcare for every person who seeks it in California. Abortion remains a legally protected right in our state and, in California, we won’t backslide.”

Over the last half a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed and reaffirmed that the U.S. Constitution protects a person’s ability to make the profoundly personal decision of whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, people across the country have made decisions and ordered their lives in reliance on the existence of a constitutional right to decide whether to have an abortion before the point of viability. Today’s decision upending Roe and long-settled constitutional law reverts to an era of inequality and jeopardizes the health and safety of people all across the nation. An analysis by the Guttmacher Institute from April identified 26 states that are certain or likely to ban abortion as a result of today's decision. These laws will greatly reduce access to safe and legal abortion and lead to vast abortion deserts in large areas of the country. The corresponding health and socioeconomic consequences of the lack of access to abortion will fall disproportionately on low-income communities and people of color.

Despite the decision, abortion remains a legally protected right in California and in many states across the nation. Attorney General Bonta will keep fighting to strengthen and expand access to safe and legal abortion. In June, the Attorney General issued a consumer alert warning Californians seeking reproductive health services about the limited and potentially misleading nature of the services provided by crisis pregnancy centers. In May, the Attorney General emphasized health apps’ obligations under California law to protect and secure reproductive health information and reaffirmed his commitment to protecting reproductive rights, joining leaders in SacramentoLong BeachSan DiegoSan Francisco, and elsewhere to make it clear that California is and will remain a reproductive freedom state. In January, Attorney General Bonta issued a legal alert to district attorneys and law enforcement making it clear that California law does not criminalize pregnancy loss and called on attorneys general across the country to review their own laws and issue similar alerts where appropriate. He also sent a letter to sheriffs across California to remind them of their legal obligation to ensure access to reproductive healthcare for people incarcerated in county jails. In addition, in the face of attacks on the right to choose across the nation, the Attorney General has taken action in court, filing briefs against efforts to undermine abortion access out of ArizonaIndianaTexasSouth Carolina, and Mississippi. Earlier this month, the Attorney General issued an information bulletin to law enforcement to remind them of state and federal laws protecting security around and access to reproductive healthcare.

A copy of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is available here. Additional information about California’s strong laws protecting the right to abortion is available here.

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