Thu, May 12, 2022 12:47 PM
By By Madison Hirneisen The Center Square, The Center Square
(The Center Square) – Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans Wednesday to increase funding for access to reproductive health services, which includes millions in grant funding to offset the cost of services for low and moderate income individuals without health insurance.
The governor on Wednesday announced a $57 million budget expansion for a Reproductive Health Package, which comes on top of $68 million included in his January budget proposal. In total, the package includes $125 million to expand access to reproductive care services.
“California will not stand idly by as extremists roll back our basic constitutional rights; we’re going to fight like hell, making sure that all women – not just those in California – know that this state continues to recognize and protect their fundamental rights,” Newsom said in a statement.
The majority of the expanded funding – $40 million – will provide grants to reproductive health care providers to offset the cost of providing abortion care services to uninsured, low-income individuals, according to a news release. The remaining $17 million is earmarked for outreach efforts, research and a “reproductive rights website” that would provide information about care providers.
The funding expansion comes as Newsom’s latest effort to expand abortion access in California for those in state and out of state after a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion leaked last week suggests the court could move to overturn Roe v. Wade.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that more than two dozen states are “likely or certain to ban abortion.” If this happens, the state could see at nearly 3000% increase in the number of women whose nearest abortion provider would be California, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
After the draft opinion was leaked, the governor and several state lawmakers vowed to maintain abortion access in California and provide services for residents from states that restrict abortion access.
Newsom, alongside Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, announced plans last week to advance a constitutional amendment that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state’s Constitution.
The governor is also weighing incentive opportunities for businesses from states with “anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ laws” to relocate to California, according to a news release from the governor’s office.