SACRAMENTO — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, endorsed California Proposition 1, the Reproductive Freedom Act, that seeks to amend the California Constitution to protect a person’s right to basic healthcare and reproductive freedoms on Wednesday. Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon introduced the Reproductive Freedom Act shortly after the draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson was leaked in May, indicating that the Court would likely issue a ruling that would reverse Roe v. Wade and undercut nearly five decades of precedence that protects access to abortion. The California Legislature voted to place Proposition 1 on the ballot this November. If approved by the voters, it would bar the state from denying or interfering with a person’s right to choose an abortion and contraceptives.
“We are extremely grateful for the leadership of Pro Tem Atkins, Speaker Rendon, Governor Newsom and the California Legislature to protect access to reproductive care in California. Abortion and family planning clinics have become trusted providers of care to the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ people, especially those who are transgender, avoid medical care based on legitimate fears of being turned away or facing discrimination and ignorance, and find judgement free care from a clinic that offers abortions, said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “Reproductive freedom and LGBTQ+ equality are linked by the fight for bodily autonomy. We all seek control over our own bodies. We decide whether and with whom to have intimate relationships, when to start a family, whether to seek gender affirming care to align with our gender identity – We want to live as our true selves as determined by us, not by others.”
“Devastatingly, the Supreme Court has taken away the constitutional right to abortion — a civil right that has been the law of the land for generations and allowed people to make the best health care decisions for them. Thankfully in California, we stand ready to protect these rights, which is exactly what Proposition 1 will do,” said Jodi Hicks, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “We’re proud to stand with Equality California to add the right to an abortion and contraception directly into our state Constitution – and send the message that in California, extreme politicians can’t strip away our fundamental freedoms.”
“In California, we stand ready to defend fundamental civil rights. As co-chair of the Prop 1 campaign, I want to thank Equality California for their commitment to ensuring that people have access to critical reproductive care, just as they do any other basic right,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “Prop 1 will add the right to an abortion directly into the constitution so that people can keep conversations about their health care where they belong – with their providers.”
California has long been a safe haven for abortion access. In 1969, the state Supreme Court ruled that the California constitution’s right to privacy implies the right to an abortion. Reproductive access is also protected by statute. Proposition 1 brings the decision to the people and marks the first time that California has given voters the opportunity to add the right to abortion and contraception to the state constitution, and the opportunity to further solidify California’s longtime standing as a nationwide leader in reproductive rights.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org