The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. The ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states, although the timing of those laws taking effect varies.
Some Republican-led states will ban or severely limit abortion immediately, while other restrictions will take effect later. At least one state, Texas, is waiting until after the Supreme Court issues its formal judgment in the case, which is separate from the opinion issued Friday and could take about a month.
In anticipation of the decision, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access. The decision also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted.
Here's how the Supreme Court decision impacts California:
Democrats who support access to abortion control all statewide elected offices and have large majorities in the state Legislature.
California outlawed abortion in 1850, except when the life of the mother was in danger. The law changed in 1967 to include abortions in the case of rape, incest or if a woman’s mental health were in danger. In 1969, the California Supreme Court declared the state’s original abortion law to be unconstitutional but left the 1967 law in place. In 1972, California voters added a "right to privacy" to the state constitution. Since then, the state Supreme Court has interpreted that "right to privacy" as a right to access abortion, allow minors to get an abortion without their parents’ permission and use public funding for abortions in the state’s Medicaid program. California now requires private health insurance plans to cover abortions and does not allow them to charge things such as co-pays or deductibles for the procedure.
EFFECT OF SUPREME COURT RULING
Abortion will remain legal in California prior to the viability of a fetus. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has vowed to make California a sanctuary for women who live in other states where abortion is outlawed or severely restricted. The number of women who travel to the state for abortions is expected to rise significantly.
The state Legislature is considering 13 bills that would strengthen or expand access to abortion. The bills are based on a report from the Future of Abortion Council, which Newsom formed last year to study reproductive rights in California. They include proposals that would help pay for women from other states to come to California for abortions, ban enforcement of out-of-state civil judgments on California abortion providers and volunteers, and increase the number of people who can offer abortions by authorizing some nurse practitioners to perform the procedure without the supervision of a doctor. Lawmakers also plan to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would explicitly guarantee the right to an abortion and contraceptives.
Those looking to find out how Friday's Supreme Court decision will impact the 49 other states can click here for more information.
Regionally speaking, Newsom announced the West Coast plan in a video statement with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
"No matter who you are or where you come from, Oregon doesn’t turn away anyone seeking health care," Brown said.
The governors also pledged to "protect against judicial and local law enforcement cooperation with out-of-state investigations, inquiries and arrests" regarding abortions performed in their states.
Newsom warned that conservative Supreme Court justices and Republican politicians "are coming after you" on issues beyond the abortion decision and another ruling this week that said Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
"This is not just about women. This is not just about choice. It’s not just about reproductive freedom — they’re coming after you," he said.
The Associated Press' Claire Rush and Adam Beam contributed to this story.