As abortion access is set to dwindle in several states across the country due to a wave of restrictive bills, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is inviting women to come to his state to have the procedure performed.
Newsom issued a proclamation on Friday that noted his state’s commitment to “welcoming women to California to fully exercise their reproductive rights.”
“California will continue to uphold women’s equality and liberty by protecting their reproductive freedom, educating Californians about their rights to reproductive freedom, welcoming women to California to fully exercise their reproductive rights and acting as a model for other states that want to ensure full reproductive freedom for women,” it read.
The proclamation also condemned states that “enact extreme laws that violate the fundamental rights of women.”
Urging other states to take steps toward ensuring abortion access, Newsom joined with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who is also a 2020 presidential candidate, to write a letter to other governors stressing the need for action.
“In the absence of federal leadership on this issue, states must step up and put in place their own protections ― both in statute and in their state constitutions, and through the expansion of family planning and education ― to defend every American’s right to reproductive freedom,” the letter read.
The governors also pointed to “an escalating attack on the freedom of women and families to determine their futures,” seen most recently in Louisiana where Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a measure to ban abortions once cardiac activity in an embryo is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
Republicans in Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri have all approved similar laws, though a federal judge blocked Kentucky’s ban in March, finding it potentially unconstitutional.
Earlier this month, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed into law a near-total ban on abortions, the only exception being when the life of the mother is at risk. The legislation ― the nation’s strictest ― is set to take effect within the next six months, though it is expected to be hit with legal challenges that could prevent it from being enforced.
Though Ivey recognized that may be a possibility, she said she hopes the law will cause the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that established access to safe and legal abortions as a constitutional right.
Sounding the alarm on the growing number of obstacles being faced by those seeking abortions, Newsom, Brown and Inslee called on leaders to “safeguard a woman’s right to choose.”
“Roe is settled law, but newly enacted and clearly unconstitutional laws in a handful of states compel our states to act now to reaffirm longstanding commitments to safeguard the fundamental rights of women,” they said.