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Newsom budget will bolster California's abortion-sanctuary status

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants California to spend an extra $57 million to prepare for an expected influx of patients from states hostile to abortion, according to new details released by his administration Wednesday.

This brings to $125 million the additional funding the governor wants to dedicate in the coming fiscal year on abortion services. The Democratic governor will also announce an incentive program for companies to relocate to California from states with abortion bans, Newsom administration officials said.

“California will not stand idly by as extremists roll back our basic constitutional rights; we’re going to fight like hell, making sure that all women — not just those in California — know that this state continues to recognize and protect their fundamental rights,” Newsom said in a statement Wednesday.

The release by POLITICO last week of an early draft opinion of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion overturning the landmark Roe. v Wade decision has raised the stakes for blue states like California that have been positioning themselves as abortion sanctuaries.

Newsom’s latest proposal calls for $40 million in grants to reproductive health care providers to help cover costs for low- and moderate-income patients who don’t have abortion coverage and $15 million to help reproductive rights organizations get the word out about services in California.

Newsom will share more details about his relocation plan for companies when he unveils his May budget proposal on Friday. At a press briefing last week at Los Angeles’ Planned Parenthood headquarters, he questioned the wisdom of some companies like Tesla that have vowed to cover travel expenses for employees seeking abortions not offered in their home states.

“To all those businesses, the idea that you’re moving your companies to states, and then you have to pay for your employees to travel back to the states you made them move, maybe they should start reconsidering some of those decisions,” he said.

Newsom in January committed $68 million to such projects as improving security at clinics that provide abortions, helping abortion providers with scholarships and loan repayments and subsidizing the cost of abortion care for Covered California consumers due to federal payment limitations for abortion coverage.

The governor said he will work with lawmakers on a package of bills introduced early this year in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v Wade. The bills are based on policy recommendations from the Future of Abortion Council, which Newsom created last fall in the wake of a Texas law to prohibit abortions as early as six weeks.

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