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Legislator Wants to Make CA a Safe Haven for Abortionists Fleeing Malpractice Lawsuits

Tomorrow, state legislators plan to consider a proposal that would turn California into a safe haven for abortionists seeking to protect their wealth from malpractice lawsuits. Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Livermore) introduced the Planned Parenthood sponsored bill in reaction to pro-life states like Texas who permit citizens to sue anyone aiding or assisting someone getting an abortion after the heartbeat of an unborn child can be detected. 

According to legal experts, not only is AB 1666 blatantly unconstitutional, but the bill language is so broad that it protects the assets of abortionists convicted of malpractice in any state, even in civil cases where women have died from botched abortions.  

Constitutional Attorney Dean Broyles, President of the National Center for Law and Policy, plans to explain this to the Assembly Judiciary Committee member when he testifies in opposition at tomorrow morning’s hearing.

“Allowing doctors or nurses with assets in California to completely dodge civil liability for medical malpractice, especially that which may severely harm or kill a woman, is unjust and is unconscionable,” wrote Broyles in his AB 1666 letter of opposition. “It is possible for California to both permit women to obtain abortions and simultaneously hold doctors and other health care providers accountable for their negligence and recklessness which causes harms to women, but AB 1666 does not do that.”

According to the bill’s fact sheet, Bauer-Kahan believes California abortion doctors and their patients need their state assets protected from “civil actions and financial retaliations” inflicted upon them by other states. That also includes doctors who are providing “telehealth healthcare [chemical abortion pills] to patients out of state.”

But protecting Californians’ assets from the judicial decisions made by the courts of other states violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause found in the US Constitution, according to three legal experts opposing AB 1666. 

“AB 1666 is premised on the fallacy that the Legislature can simply wave away comity and constitutionally prescribed reciprocity among courts of different states when it disagrees with other states’ restrictions on abortion,” wrote Pacific Justice Institute- Center for Public Policy Attorney Matthew McReynolds.  “The above-quoted fact sheet refers in passing to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution, with seemingly no comprehension of the Clause’s import or the cascading consequences of declaring a new cold war among the states with competing tax and liability shelters.”

Another Attorney from the Right to Life League, Susan Arnall, agrees with McReynolds’ assessment. “This bill violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution on its face,” she wrote. “Article IV, Section 1 states: ‘Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.’ The Supreme Court has explicitly applied the Full Faith and Credit clause to judgments as recently as 1998.”

Broyles acknowledged the Supreme Court has made some exceptions for the Full Faith and Credit Clause, but only in relation to conflicting state laws, not judicial judgments in civil cases.

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