A new amendment could add women’s reproductive rights to California’s state constitution after overwhelmingly passing in the State Assembly on Monday.
SCA 10 will now be placed before California voters in the November election, following the Assembly’s 58-16 vote, which exceeded the necessary two-thirds majority to pass. California’s state Senate had approved the measure in a 29-8 vote last week.
By adding the matter to the state’s constitution rather than simply passing a law, women in the state “will be afforded a higher level of protection to a fundamental right,” said Assembly member Jesse Gabriel, a Democrat, prior to the vote.
According to the proposed constitutional amendment: “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. This section is intended to further the constitutional right to privacy guaranteed by Section 1, and the constitutional right to not be denied equal protection guaranteed by Section 7. Nothing herein narrows or limits the right to privacy or equal protection.”
California lawmakers have taken swift action to strengthen state laws protecting abortion rights since the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on Friday, stripping away nearly 50 years of precedent.
Just hours after the high court opinion was published, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new bill into law to provide legal protections against prosecution for medical providers and people who undergo the procedure.
California’s state lawmakers are considering another dozen bills aimed at strengthening abortion rights in the state.