By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — On the day congressional Republicans introduced a nationwide abortion law, California launched a new taxpayer-funded website aimed at helping pregnant residents and out-of-state travelers access abortion services.
The website launched Tuesday represents the latest move by Gov. Gavin Newsom to fulfill his promise of making California a haven for abortion access after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Since the 1973 landmark ruling was overturned in June, several states have moved to tighten abortion restrictions.
The website, abortion.ca.gov, contains information about providers and ways to pay for an abortion and highlights the legal right to abortion under California law. The website also outlines guidance for minors under 18, noting that a person of any age can consent to their own abortion care within the state. Gov. Newsom’s office said Tuesday that the website does not collect personal information about visitors.
“Abortion is legal, safe and accessible here in California – whether or not you live here, know that we have your back,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement Tuesday. “As Republican states continue rolling back fundamental civil rights and even try to prevent people from accessing information online or crossing state lines for care, you’re welcome here in California, and we’ll continue to fight like hell for you.”
The enacted state budget includes $200 million for reproductive health care, $1 million of which was budgeted for a “comprehensive reproductive rights website.” The governor’s office did not respond to The Center Square’s request for comment regarding the total cost of the website.
The website was launched the same day Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, introduced a bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Sen. Graham framed his legislation as a defense against late-term abortions in an interview with CNN Tuesday.
“I think the Democrats made a huge mistake in introducing legislation in Washington that would basically allow abortion up to the moment of birth,” Sen. Graham told CNN. “Now we have an alternative to that.”
Gov. Newsom blasted the legislation in a tweet on Tuesday, writing that Sen. Graham’s “new national ban on abortion is about controlling women.”
“That’s their agenda. CA’s fighting back,” the governor tweeted.
Abortion advocates praised the new website Tuesday, saying it will act as a “critical resource” to pregnant patients seeking an abortion and a “model for the rest of the nation.”
“No person should be forced to travel outside of their home state for essential health care, including abortion care, yet extreme politicians are making that a reality for millions across the country,” President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates California Jodi Hicks said in a statement. “This new website will increase access to accurate information and is critical so that people can seek the care they want or need here in California.”
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.