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The Democratic governor’s comments come just days after Politico published a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would effectively overturn the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.
While the draft merely represents an opinion – and Supreme Court opinions are prone to change ahead of a final decision – the news has sparked nationwide protests, pitting advocates on either side of the issue against one another ahead of the November midterms.
Newsom argued that “if men could get pregnant, this wouldn’t even be a conversation.”
“This decision isn’t about strengthening families – it’s about extremism. It’s about control,” the governor tweeted. “We will fight for the right to choose.”
The governor spoke at Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles, to discuss his administration’s efforts to protect abortion rights in the Golden States.
“We will affirm the … constitutionally protected rights of women and girls and their reproductive rights and freedoms in California,” the governor said, flanked by women wearing pink Planned Parenthood t-shirts.
Newsom blamed his own party for being too passive in the abortion issue, and urged a “counter-offensive” to protect what he called fundamental rights.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom talks at a news conference with workers and volunteers on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at a Planned Parenthood office near downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael R. Blood)
He alluded to recent battles across the country, including over a Texas law that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and a Florida law that forbids classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.”
“Where is the Democratic Party?” he asked. “Why aren’t we standing up more firmly? More resolutely? Why aren’t we calling this out?”
California is making plans to become an abortion “sanctuary,” where reproductive rights would be expansively protected and patients could travel from other states for services. One proposal seeks to guarantee a right to an abortion in the state constitution.
If the Supreme Court overturns the Roe ruling, at least 26 states are likely to outlaw abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights advocacy group.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.