Gavin Newsom launches tool connecting women to abortion services in California

By Maeve Reston, CNN

California Governor Gavin Newsom is stepping up his row with Republican-led states that have restricted abortion access after the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this summer overturning the federal right to such services that was enshrined in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade.

As part of his efforts to make California a safe port for women seeking abortions, Newsom, a Democrat, launched a new statewide website on Tuesday aimed at connecting women who live out of state to care. reproductive health services, including a tool that would help them find a provider and how to apply for financial assistance for these services.

In a video introducing the site, the governor of California spoke about the privacy issues now facing many women in the red state — noting that the website will not track them or their personal information — as conservative lawmakers in some states weigh laws to prevent residents of their state from seeking care across state lines.

“Abortion is legal, safe and accessible here in California – whether you live here or not, know that we have your back,” Newsom said in a video featuring the site on Tuesday. “As Republican states continue to roll back basic civil rights and even try to stop people from accessing information online or crossing state lines for medical treatment, you are welcome here in California. and we will continue to fight like hell for you.”

The effort by Newsom, who is widely seen as a future White House contender, is just the latest salvo in his flashy campaign against his red state counterparts like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, whom he considered a threat to fundamentals. human rights in this country. With no serious threat to his re-election prospects in November, Newsom has sought to gain national prominence using the prodigious war chest he has amassed while successfully staving off a recall the last year.

He ran $105,000 in Fox News ads from July 4 targeting DeSantis as he told Floridians freedom was under attack in their state – citing DeSantis’ restrictive moves to ban books and restrict access to abortion as well as at the polls – and inviting those who have been disturbed by the Florida governor’s maneuvers to decamp to California. He then pledged $100,000 to Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate opposing DeSantis in November.

DeSantis responded by drawing attention to crime in California and some of the worst homelessness issues in the country.

From his political Twitter account on Tuesday, Newsom also noted the national issues that energized dozens of moderate and progressive female voters ahead of the November election as he drew attention to the new proposed national abortion ban. by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham – providing a link to the new California website as he claimed the GOP’s agenda was to “control women”.

Graham introduced a bill on Tuesday that would limit abortion after 15 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother. The South Carolina senator’s decision has split the GOP caucus and complicated the path ahead for many of his party’s candidates seeking election in swing states where the majority of voters support abortion rights. . Many Republican senators, including Graham, have previously taken the view that the decision on how to restrict abortion should be left to the states following the June Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

In California, which passed sweeping legal protections for patients and providers who receive or provide abortion care after the June ruling, Newsom is also advocating for a ballot measure that would change the state’s constitution. to guarantee the right to an abortion. In early September, the California legislature also passed a package of about a dozen bills that would protect and expand access to abortion in the state.

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