Newsom Signs Controversial Abortion Loophole Bill

( – California Governor Gavin Newsom appears to be positioning himself as a savior to Arizona women seeking abortions with a new law that gives Arizona doctors permission to practice in the Golden State.

Newsom just signed SB 233, a law that allows abortion doctors from Arizona to practice in California while Arizona remains in a murky haze about whether a Civil War-era abortion ban will come into effect. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, the right to regulate abortion went back to the individual states. This had the effect of reactivating several state laws that had banned or severely restricted abortion, all of which were unenforceable during the Roe years.

Arizona has one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, with a rule dating back to 1864 that bars abortion in any circumstance except to save the life of the mother. While the Arizona legislature has voted to repeal the 19th-century law, and Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs has signed the repeal, that doesn’t take effect until the legislature ends its session this summer. Several court maneuvers in related cases put the likely date of repeal off until November.

That’s where California’s new law comes in. The measure is effective right away and allows Arizona abortion doctors to perform the procedure in California (presumably on Arizona patients who travel) through the period before Arizona’s repeal kicks in. Arizona doctors who want this privilege will need to fill out an application, and California regulators will grant permission to qualifying doctors within five days of receipt.

Newsom, unsurprisingly, crowed about the law, saying the state is ready to “protect reproductive freedom. As he has done for families with transgender children, Newsom said he’ll make California a “sanctuary” for out-of-staters seeking abortions. In related laws, California has even earmarked $20 million to pay women to travel to the state for the service.

Said State Senator Nancy Skinner to prospective abortion seekers, “We’ve got your back.”

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