California aims to protect itself against Texas-style abortion laws

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – State lawmakers voted Monday to prevent Texas and other state courts from penalizing abortion providers and volunteers in California as part of Democrats’ plan to make the state a sanctuary for women seeking reproductive care if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Texas prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually after the first six weeks of pregnancy. The law is unusual because it does not allow state officials to enforce it. On the contrary, only private citizens can enforce the law by suing people who have provided or assisted in abortion.

California Democrats are concerned that Texas law, and those that have been passed or proposed since then in other conservative states, could expose their abortion providers and volunteers to civil lawsuits in other states. On Monday, Democrats in the state assembly gave key approval to a bill that would ban enforcement of those sentences in California courts.

“Taking this action now is crucial as we prepare for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade and trigger a flood of hostile bans in more than half of the states,” said Molly Robson, legislative director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

Enemies of abortion say the bill is illegal because a clause in the U.S. Constitution requires each state to give “full faith and credit” to the laws of all other states. The clause helped keep the peace between states, even in 2019 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Nevada had to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a man suing California for trying to collect past income taxes.

“California is part of the United States of America and is bound by the United States Constitution and is not a nation or a law in itself,” Dean Broyles, a lawyer and president of the National Center for Law and Politics, told lawmakers during a hearing. legislative. earlier this year. “If enacted, as a constitutional lawyer, I can assure you that California will spend a lot of money on defending this bill and will lose.”

Federal courts have recognized some exceptions to the “full faith and credit” clause, including laws in one state that violate another state’s “public policy.” This is to avoid what the U.S. Supreme Court said would be an “absurd” result of a state court failing to enforce its own laws.

The bill passed by the California Assembly seeks to exploit that exception, stating that suing someone in California for practicing or collaborating in an abortion is “contrary to the public policy of this state.”

“I hope that the states that share our interests in protecting abortion and that abortion providers do their best to ensure that there is safe access to abortion in their state,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, author of bill and lawyer. . “I think what we’re doing is absolutely constitutional and I think others should do the same if they think the same.”

The bill is one of 13 pieces of legislation that Democrats in California have introduced this year to protect abortion providers and volunteers or make abortions easier and cheaper to get.

Also Monday, state Assembly lawmakers passed a bill to prevent the California Medical Council from suspending or revoking licenses to doctors who perform abortions. And earlier this year, Newsom signed a law that cheapened abortions by banning private insurance companies from charging things like copayments or deductibles through the procedure.

Lawmakers are trying to act quickly on these bills because they believe the U.S. Supreme Court later this summer will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 decision that banned states from banning all abortions.

A first draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion indicated that most judges supported the annulment of Roe v. Wade. The draft was obtained and published by Politico earlier this month. The court later confirmed that the draft was authentic, but noted that nothing had changed because the court had not yet officially issued its ruling.

Bills are just a few of the hundreds of pieces of legislation that must be passed by the state assembly before Friday’s deadline if they want to have a chance to become law this year. The bills are then moved to the state Senate, which will vote on them before the legislature takes office in August.

California aims to protect itself against Texas-style abortion laws

Source link California aims to protect itself against Texas-style abortion laws

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