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Possible overturning of Roe v. Wade means California could see an influx of out-of-state patients

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Posted at 7:04 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 22:49:50-04

On Monday night, leaked documents showed that the Supreme Court may have already made a decision to strike down the 50-year-old ruling that protected a woman’s right to an abortion

The author, Justice Samuel Alito, writing, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start”.

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and California Governor Gavin Newsom all immediately published statements against the "radical draft."

Locally, women’s rights activists are expressing heartache. Dawn Addis, Co-Executive Director of Women's March SLO, called it a gut punch.

"It's one of those things you cannot deny. Many people knew it was coming, we knew it was coming. That is why we here at Women’s March San Luis Obispo have been organizing for so long," said Addis.

California has long been a safe space for reproductive health care. Governor Gavin Newsom reinforced that in his statement, saying, “California will not stand idly by as women across America are stripped of their rights and the progress so many have fought for gets erased. We will fight.”

He and other lawmakers are proposing an amendment that will enshrine the right to choose in the state’s constitution

Because more than 20 states already have legislation in place to outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, California is set to become a hub for women looking for healthcare resources.

"What we know is that if these 26 states that are certain or likely to ban abortion do so, the percentage of out-of-state people who may need an abortion that will find their nearest clinic in California will increase by almost 3,000 percent," said Jenna Tosh, CEO of Planned Parenthood CA Central Coast.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization committed to advancing reproductive health rights, the increase in the number of women of reproductive age (15-49) whose nearest provider would be in California will increase from 46,000 to 1.4 million, adding to the already increasing number of women clinics are starting to see each week from Texas since they were the first state to essentially ban abortion after 6 weeks.

"Over this last year, all of the Planned Parenthood affiliates in California have been hiring more doctors and nurses, expanding the physical footprint of our health centers, and working with the state legislature to ensure California stays a beacon for women's reproductive rights," Tosh said.