California Bill Would Fund Abortions for Non-Residents

California is considering a new law that will fund abortions for out-of-state women who want to travel to the Golden State to end their pregnancies.

The bill was introduced last Thursday by Democratic state Sens. Nancy Skinner and Anna Caballero, and will establish a fund of state and private contributions for providing grants to nonprofit organizations that assist low-income women seeking abortions. The government funding for the program would be allocated by the California legislature.

It is believed the new bill comes in response to new pro-life laws enacted by several Republican-led states. The most prominent of the new laws that protect unborn children is the Texas Heartbeat Act, which has served as a model for several other states. The Texas law bans almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is medically detected, normally at about the sixth week of pregnancy.

The U.S. Supreme Court is also currently considering the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. That decision will send ripples throughout the entire country.

Skinner said in her statement accompanying the new bill that the conservative majority of the Supreme Court “seems poised to do the unthinkable.” She pledged that she will not let California “sit idly by” if the high court overturns Roe v. Wade and rules against a constitutional right to abort unborn children.

Skinner added that she intended the new bill to send a “clear message” to all of America. She said the bill expresses California’s commitment to any woman who “seeks refuge” in the state will have access to all abortion services.

The new bill is part of a legislative package announced by the state legislature’s Legislative Women’s Caucus in January. The proposals follow a report with recommendations issued last December by the California Future of Abortion Council. That report specifically called on the legislature to reimburse abortion providers for procedures when women claim to have no financial means to obtain them on their own.

Considering the current deep divide between the deep blue coastal states and most of the rest of the nation over the rights of unborn children to life, it is not hard to imagine that California will pass the proposed law and will promote itself as a tourist destination for abortions. As part of its competition with pro-life states, California might advertise abortion services for non-residents with travel and accommodations being paid for by its taxpayers.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in the case challenging Roe v. Wade by the end of June.