California: Bid to ‘future proof’ US state against threats to women’s abortion rights

The California governor has promised to use the state’s record $ 300 billion budget to “future-proof” it against threatened national changes in abortion and gun safety laws.

With United States Supreme Court ready to possibly repeal the Roe V Wade legislation that gives women a constitutional right to abortion, Gavin Newsom promised to do “everything we can” to ensure the protection of women’s rights in his state.

Roe mot Wade was the landmark case of a Texan woman, Norma McCorvey, who was referred by the legal pseudonym Jane Roe to protect her privacy, against local district attorney Henry Wade.

She claimed that the state’s abortion laws were unconstitutional – and won.

However, earlier this month a document leaked which showed that the right-wing Supreme Court was about to repeal the legislation.

In the United States, individual states can pass legislation confirming that abortion is legal, but this almost always follows the political composition of each state, as the issue of abortion is usually divided by party lines.

And last week, another attempt to protect abortion rights by Congress failed, with a federal (national) law.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the bill, but it failed 49-51 in the upper, evenly divided Senate.

Explained:
What is Roe v Wade and how can abortion become illegal in many US states?

Picture:
Gavin Newsom. Image: Associated Press

Mr Newsom, a first-term governor of the nation’s most populous state – and a potential Democratic presidential candidate – used his budget presentation on Friday to promise to spend $ 125 million to make it easier for women to have abortions in California, including those from other states. .

He warned that “the polarization that remains in this nation” would affect everything from reproductive rights to weapons policy and privacy protection across the country.

He said: “We are doing everything we can to secure California’s future – with our values ​​at the center, values ​​of inclusion, regardless of your political stripes.”

“California is in crisis,” critics say

California’s estimated budget surplus of $ 97.5 billion is unparalleled at the state level and is driven by soaring tax revenues.

It is larger than the entire operating budget of almost all other states.

The incessant flow of tax revenue prompted California Republicans – who do not have enough members of the state legislature to exert great influence – to complain about high taxes that reduce the quality of life.

“He did not propose permanent tax breaks to deal with a worsening affordability crisis exacerbated by his policies,” said Republican Vince Fong, vice chairman of the House Budget Committee.

“The governor may not want to admit it, but California is in crisis and his budget is unsustainable.”

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