LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference Wednesday in front of a group of Planned Parenthood supporters where he discussed the state’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Newsom started the conference by saying he believed a rollback of abortion access protection would only be the start and that other protections granted at a federal level by the Supreme Court could be next.
“You think for a second same-sex marriage is safe in the United States of America? Give me a break. You heard an Indiana senator, United States senator, not retired… start talking about Loving vs. Virginia,” Newsom said referring to Sen. Mike Braun who suggested in March that the legality of interracial marriage should have been left up to the states.
Newsom also restated a plan his office briefly laid out in a joint statement with leaders from California’s legislative branch in which the lawmakers said they intended to amend the state constitution to protect access to abortion.
“While it’s well established in statutes since 2002 that we’re a reproductive freedom state, we are going to enshrine that, codify that as we should in the state constitution,” Newsom said. “… And we’ll be presenting that to the voters this November.”
Newsom said he had been preparing for a ruling from the Supreme Court that could affect abortion access prior to the leak.
“We’ve not sat back passively. We’ve been anticipating — sadly — we’ve been anticipating this. …We had a meeting I think it was six or seven months ago. We laid this out and not one— every single thing that’s happened has happened,” Newsom said. “I guess we just didn’t know it was (Justice Samuel) Alito. We knew he was part of it. So we’ve been preparing. We’ve been doing more so we can do better. Protect the health, protect the safety of women and girls, particularly those of color.”
The governor said California would work with leaders in other states to protect access to abortion and pointed to issues that people seeking abortions in his own state might encounter.
“Even in California, even in California women and girls still have to travel long distances to access their reproductive rights,” Newsom said. “Even in California, even in California, though we’re changing it, you still have women and girls who can’t afford the co-pays for procedures and care. That will change in January. Even in California. Can you imagine how so many others are suffering in all these other states?”
Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican presidents became a majority on the court after Donald Trump appointed three during his term.