This state just released a detailed plan on how it will become a ‘sanctuary’ for abortion services
According to Planned Parenthood, they served more than 7,000 pregnant people from out of state seeking abortions last year. In California, Planned Parenthood says it makes up about half of all abortion clinics in the state. That said, California does not document abortion statistics. It’s truly hard to know how many folks might come to the state (or others that identify themselves as sanctuaries) should we lose Roe.
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of California Jodi Hicks told local outlet KQED that California has already seen an increase in folks from Texas (which has recently implemented a heinous six-week abortion ban) coming to the state for abortions. Hicks said the average is already at one to two patients per day.
Either way, the report asks lawmakers to reimburse costs to abortion providers on behalf of people in need who can’t afford services, including folks who come from out of state. In California, Medicaid does cover abortion, and private insurance companies are required to cover the procedure as well (though some people still end up being responsible for, say, a copay), but this plan would extend the coverage to people who aren’t California residents if their income would qualify them for Medicaid in the state if they did live there.
The proposal also recommends that lawmakers offer scholarships to medical students who promise to offer abortion services in rural areas. The point of this would be to increase the overall workforce of physicians who can offer abortion services in areas that are sorely lacking them. Similar to scholarships, the report also recommends funds to help providers pay off their student debt. The report also stresses the importance of providing abortion training opportunities for providers of color, who face systemic marginalization in medicine.
The report also calls for legal protections for both patients and providers, as well as funds for countering misinformation about abortion in general.
In what I personally think is one of the biggest and most revolutionary points of the proposal, the report also recommends using funds to help patients actually get to and from the state, including, for example, gas, hotels, and even child care.
In a press release, California state Sen. Toni Atkins described her experience working at a women’s health center, where she says she saw “countless” folks in need of support, services, and information. She pledged that the council is working hard to guarantee that folks both inside and outside of California can access reproductive care in a “safe and timely way,” and that “California will keep leading for the future.”