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Fast-Tracked Bill Allows Arizona Doctors to Perform Abortions in California

The California Legislative Women’s Caucus, with strong support from Governor Gavin Newsom, is taking California’s “abortion sanctuary” status to a new level with SB 233, which would enable Arizona doctors to perform abortions on Arizona patients in California before their near-total abortion ban is reversed. California Family Council stands in strong opposition to this bill and urges legislators to vote against it as it heads to the floor for a vote.

SB 233, introduced by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkley), was spurred on by Governor Newsom and the California Women’s Caucus after the Arizona Supreme Court upheld a pre-Roe abortion ban, A.R.S. 13-3603 (1864). The court announced: “Physicians are now on notice that all abortions, except those necessary to save a woman’s life, are illegal.” 

In response, Governor Newsom released a statement explaining his solution to this alleged disservice: “Arizona Republicans continue to put women in danger—embracing a draconian law passed when Arizona was a territory, not even a state. California will not sit idly by. We’re urgently moving legislation to allow Arizona doctors to provide safe and reliable reproductive care to Arizonans here in California.” 

Not long after SB 233 was introduced by Senator Skinner, the Arizona legislature voted to repeal the pre-Roe law, making the Arizona Supreme Court decision moot. Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D) stated in a recent committee hearing that “under [Arizona’s] constitution, a fully enacted repeal of the 1864 law doesn’t go into effect for 90 days after a legislative session. Our bill goes through November 30, 2024, so even with this repeal the bill will still be very vital to helping Arizonans.” 

The text of the bill reads: “This bill, through November 30, 2024, would authorize a physician licensed to practice medicine in Arizona who meets certain requirements to practice medicine in California for the purpose of providing abortions and abortion-related care to patients who are Arizona residents traveling from Arizona, upon application for registration with the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, as applicable.”

Unsurprisingly, the bill is heavily supported by Planned Parenthood, the California Medical Association, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, and many other pro-abortion organizations. 

“It is a disgrace that California legislators continue to find ways to promote the killing of innocent pre-born babies at every turn,” said Greg Burt, Vice President of the California Family Council. “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. Instead, they are rushing this abortion bill through the legislative process to make abortion the easiest choice for Arizona women.” 


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