Gov. Newsom Signs Bill Allowing Arizona Doctors To Provide Abortions In California

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, May 26, 2024 - 01:00 AM

Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on May 23, allowing Arizona doctors to travel to the Golden State on a temporary basis to perform abortions for their patients.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks support of Senate Bill 233, which would allow Arizona doctors to perform abortions in California, during a press conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on April 24, 2024. (Travis Gillmore/The Epoch Times)

Senate Bill 233, introduced by state Sen. Nancy Skinner of Oakland and Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry of Winters, allows licensed Arizona abortion providers to come to California and provide abortions or abortion-related care to patients from Arizona who travel to the state for such procedures until near the end of this year.

The measure states that licensed Arizona doctors in good standing simply need to fill out an application form with the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California to perform abortions. Provided they meet certain requirements, their approval will be granted within five business days.

Arizona licensed doctors who chose to come to the state temporarily will only be able to do so until Nov. 30, when California officials expect Arizona voters to approve an abortion measure on their state ballot.

The measure, which is being implemented in partnership with the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, contains an urgency clause and takes effect immediately.

It also notes that physicians are prohibited from providing care or consultation for other purposes or to other patients, except under the circumstances outlined in the legislation. Arizona doctors must also provide an array of information to the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, including their Arizona and temporary California addresses, as well as an affidavit attesting that they meet all requirements, according to the legislation.

Providing false information in that affidavit is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, one year in prison, or both, the bill states.

Arizona Supreme Court Ruling

Senate Bill 233 was introduced in response to Arizona’s Supreme Court’s April 9 ruling which Mr. Newsom said reimposed a “regressive 1864 law imposing a near-total abortion ban” that threatens to “almost completely curtail access to abortion care in Arizona.”

The state Supreme Court last month upheld the 1864 ban on nearly all abortions in the state, except in cases where it will save the life of the mother, following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which brought the issue back into the spotlight.

Under the Civil War-era law, anyone who performs an abortion or helps a woman access abortion services in Arizona risks a felony charge and between two to five years in prison. Exceptions for rape or incest are not allowed.

While the Arizona Legislature has since passed a bill repealing that ban, which Governor Katie Hobbs signed in early May, the ban will remain in effect until 90 days after the Arizona state Legislature’s session ends, which typically happens in June or July.

Currently, Arizona law allows abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Senate Bill 233—which passed in California’s state Senate on May 21 after previously passing the state Assembly—has been described by Mr. Newsom as a “critical stopgap” for Arizona patients and providers while enforcement of the 1864 bill remains uncertain.

In a statement on May 23, the Democrat praised the legislation while touting his efforts to “defend and advance” reproductive rights and women’s health care.

Approximately 3,000 pro-life advocates met at the steps of the California Capitol in Sacramento, on April 22, 2024. (Travis Gillmore/The Epoch Times)

‘Oppressive, Dangerous Attacks on Women’

“Arizona Republicans tried to turn back the clock to 1864 to impose a near-total abortion ban across their state,” the governor said in a statement. “We refuse to stand by and acquiesce to their oppressive and dangerous attacks on women,” he continued.

“I’m grateful for the California Legislative Women’s Caucus and all our partners for moving quickly to provide this backstop. California stands ready to protect reproductive freedom.”

The legislation was also welcomed by pro-abortion advocates, including Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California’s president & CEO Jodi Hicks.

“As we continue to navigate a chaotic national abortion landscape, we appreciate Governor Newsom and the California Legislative Women’s Caucus for their continued commitment to advocating for additional tools that support abortion providers’ ability to serve patients,” Ms. Hicks said.

Together, we will continue to work to ensure that all who are forced to leave their home state to access abortion care can get the services they need and deserve in California,” she added.

However, Republican lawmakers and pro-life advocates have criticized Mr. Newsom, accusing him of taking California’s “abortion sanctuary” status to a “new level.”

In a statement published earlier this month before the measure was signed into law, Greg Burt, vice president of the California Family Council, a Christian nonprofit group focused on life and family values, said it is a “disgrace that California legislators continue to find ways to promote the killing of innocent pre-born babies at every turn.”

“Instead of deceptively treating pregnancy as a disease requiring abortion ’treatment,' our state representatives should be seeking to create a culture where vulnerable women facing unplanned pregnancies feel supported and encouraged to give birth,” he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.