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California anticipates more out-of-state abortion seekers

A new study from UCLA estimates that between 8,000 and 16,100 more people will travel to California each year to seek abortion services.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — New research from the Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy at the UCLA School of Law indicates that California could see up to 16,100 more people come to the state each year to seek services of abortion, now that the United States Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade.

That’s on top of Californians getting abortions in the state, putting more strain on the reproductive health system.

UCLA law professor Cary Franklin is faculty director of the Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy.

“I think there will be thousands and thousands of people coming to California for treatment in surrounding states where bans are being implemented,” Franklin said.

She added that access to abortion care in California isn’t as robust as it should be “and that in the north and west of the state, in particular, you may have to travel a long distance. But, as I said, legislators and providers have been anticipating this for a long time, so there are already programs to increase the number of clinics, to increase funding for the unpaid care that is provided, to even provide transportation and hotels, in certain circumstances, to meet the need.

And the need will be great. More than half of the states have — or will soon have — restrictions or bans on abortions, forcing people who live there who want abortions — to go elsewhere.

Jessica Pinckney, executive director of California-based association ACCESS Reproductive Justice, said the influx of out-of-state abortion seekers will “undoubtedly put a strain on our reproductive health care system. Abortion here in the State of California…Wait times are going to increase at clinics, providers are going to be asked to, you know, provide more abortion care.

Organizations like hers are set to benefit from Senate Bill 1142, which would create the “Abortion Convenience Support Fund,” giving money to nonprofits that help pregnant women. to overcome barriers to abortion access – including helping people from out of state.

“We help Californians and people traveling to California access all the support they might need to have an abortion. So we help pay for the procedure itself. We also help people with transportation, accommodation, child care and any other needs they may have when traveling to access their abortion care,” Pinckney said. “We combine this work with our volunteer engagement work and policy advocacy work to ensure we have a strong network of volunteers who can support our callers with rides, accommodation, cash assistance.”

Democratic State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) is vice chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, which held a press conference Friday to discuss the 14 proposed bills this legislative session that would expand access and abortion rights in California.

“A lot of those people will come to California,” she said, of people living in states that now ban abortions. “Are we fully prepared? No, but we are getting there.

The 14 bills include the 1918 Assembly Bill, which would create the California Reproductive Health Service Corps, to establish reproductive health care teams to work in underserved areas.

“We will act together to ensure that women across the country can find refuge and protection,” said Asm, a member of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) said.

The latest proposed budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 includes tens of millions for reproductive health care. This includes $20 million for recruitment and training of reproductive health care providers and an additional $20 million in scholarships and loan repayments for providers who commit to providing reproductive health care services in California. .

“California is and will be a haven of hope for anyone seeking an abortion,” said Asm, chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. said Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). “We will do whatever we need to do to wrap our arms around everyone who needs our love and support.”

In tears during the virtual press conference, California comptroller Betty Yee said, “I think of my 99-year-old mother today and how she thinks her grandchildren have no right to power. make their own decisions about their lives in the future, so I’m triply up for this fight.

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