California Aims to Protect Against Texas-Style Abortion Laws | Texas News

By ADAM BEAM, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State lawmakers voted Monday to block courts in Texas and other states from penalizing abortion providers and volunteers in California, part of the Democrats’ plan to do of the state a sanctuary for women seeking reproductive care if the United States Supreme Court Court reversal Roe v. Wade.

Texas prohibits abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat, usually after the first six weeks of pregnancy. The law is unusual in that it does not allow state agents to enforce it. Instead, only private citizens can enforce the law by prosecuting people who provided or assisted in abortion.

California Democrats worry that the Texas law — and those that have since been passed or proposed in other conservative states — could expose their abortion providers and volunteers to civil judgments from other states. On Monday, Democrats in the state Assembly approved a bill barring the enforcement of such judgments in California courts.

“Taking this action now is critical as we prepare for the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and trigger a barrage of hostile bans in more than half of the states,” said Molly Robson, legislative director. of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

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Abortion haters say the bill is illegal because a clause in the US Constitution requires each state to give “full faith and credit” to the laws of all other states. The clause has helped keep the peace between the states, including in 2019 when the US Supreme Court ruled Nevada must dismiss a lawsuit brought by a man suing California for trying to collect taxes on previous income.

“California is a part of the United States of America and is bound by the United States Constitution and is not a nation or a law unto itself,” Dean Broyles, attorney and president of the National Center for Law & Policy, told reporters. legislators during a legislative hearing. earlier this year. “If passed into law, as a constitutional attorney, I can assure you that California will spend a lot of money defending this bill and lose.”

Federal courts have recognized certain exceptions to the “full faith and credit” clause, including for laws of one state that violate the “public policy” of another state. This is to avoid what the US Supreme Court has called “absurd”. result of a state court’s inability to enforce its own laws.

The bill passed by the California Assembly seeks to exploit this exception, stating that prosecuting someone in California for performing or assisting in an abortion is “against the public policy of that state.”

“I hope states that share our interests in protecting abortion and abortion providers will do all they can to ensure safe access to abortion in their state,” said Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Member of the Democratic Assembly, author of the bill and lawyer. . “I think what we are doing is absolutely constitutional and I think others should do the same if they feel the same way.”

The bill is one of 13 pieces of legislation California Democrats have introduced this year to either protect abortion providers and volunteers or make abortions easier and cheaper to obtain.

Also on Monday, state Assembly lawmakers passed a bill to prevent the California Medical Board from suspending or revoking the licenses of doctors who perform abortions. And earlier this year, Newsom signed a law making abortions cheaper by prohibiting private insurance companies from charging fees such as co-pays or deductibles for the procedure.

Lawmakers are trying to move quickly with these bills because they believe the U.S. Supreme Court later this summer will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that prohibited states from banning all abortions.

An early draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion indicated that a majority of justices favored overturning Roe v. Wade. The draft was obtained and released by Politico earlier this month. The court later confirmed that the project was genuine, but noted that nothing had changed as the court had yet to officially issue its decision.

The bills are just a few of hundreds of pieces of legislation that must pass the state Assembly by Friday’s deadline if they are to have a chance of becoming law this year. The bills will then go to the state Senate, which will vote on them before the legislature adjourns in August.

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