California will become an “abortion sanctuary” in a post-Roe world under a controversial new plan supported by Gov. Gavin Newsom that urges the state to pay for lodging, transportation and other expenses when out-of-state residents seek an abortion.
The 14-page report by the California Future of Abortion Council lists 45 recommendations for the state if Roe v. Wade is overturned, asserting that over 36 million women will “lose access to abortion care” if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The high court is expected to issue a ruling next year in a high-profile Mississippi abortion case that could impact Roe.
“It is imperative that California take the lead, live up to its proclamation as a ‘Reproductive Freedom State,’ and be ready to serve anyone who seeks abortion services in the state,” the report says.
Newsom, in September, said his administration was part of the council as a participant. The report lists Newsom among a group of individuals who “participated in and support the work” of the council.
“We’ll be a sanctuary,” Newsom, a Democrat, told the Associated Press last week. “We are looking at ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections.”
One of the report’s most controversial recommendations involves assisting in-state and out-of-state women with abortion expenses.
“People seeking abortion care often experience obstacles to accessing care – including the cost of the medical service, distance to the nearest available provider, gas or other transportation needs, lodging, child care, lost wages due to lack of available or usable sick time, and other necessities such as food during travel,” the report says.
The report expects upwards of 1.4 million out-of-state women to seek abortions in California in a post-Roe world.
“These funds … are needed for direct logistical and practical support for patients such as gas, lodging, transportation, child care, doula support, food, lost wages, etc.,” the report says. “Funding is needed as soon as possible with allowances to apply for funds to reimburse for expenses in 2021 (retroactive to when Texas Senate Bill 8 went into effect).”
Texas Senate Bill 8 prohibits abortions when a heartbeat is detected.
Pro-lifers called the plan appalling.
“Pure evil,” tweeted Lila Rose, president of Live Action. “California politicians have unveiled their plan to make the state America’s baby slaughterhouse.”
Pure evil.— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) December 8, 2021
California politicians have unveiled their plan to make the state America’s baby slaughter house. https://t.co/3PWjS8gtCS
“How unbelievably ghoulish,” said Daniel Darling, director of the Land Center at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
How unbelievably ghoulish. https://t.co/4Sqz6mMDIq— Daniel Darling (@dandarling) December 8, 2021
“‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil,’ Isaiah 5:20,” tweeted J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in North Carolina and the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Matthew Starling
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.