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Ethics & Religion
Column #2,111
Jan. 25, 2022
Will Abortion Be Made Illegal?
By Mike McManus

Will the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade to make abortion illegal, after being legal for 49 years? The Court is considering three cases in which it could overturn Roe v. Wade's approval of abortion nearly a half century ago. That appears likely given the court's six conservatives who are pro-life.

They are likely to overturn Roe v. Wade in the three cases it is considering.

Justice Stephen Breyer announced he will retire at the end of the current term. However he is one of only three liberals on the nine-member court.

"Rather than fill the court with more of the same, Catholics for Choice calls on President Joe Biden to nominate a justice who reflects the diversity of this country," said Catholics for Choice President James L. Manson.

However, if Biden chose a justice supportive of abortion, the vote on the court would be 7-2 opposed to Roe v. Wade's support of legal abortion.

There are two dozen states which have passed laws severely limiting abortion's availability. One of the cases before the court is Mississippi's law that seeks to ban all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Many states have passed laws similar to that in Mississippi, but have been struck down due to Roe v. Wade.

California, on the other hand, is moving in the opposite direction. California clinics and their allies in the state legislature revealed a plan to make the state a "sanctuary" for those seeking reproductive care. The state may possibly pay for people to travel to California, lodging and health care such as abortions.

The California Future of Abortion Council, made up of 40 abortion providers and advocacy groups, released a list of 45 recommendations for the state to consider if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion 49 years ago. The recommendations are not just a liberal fantasy. Some of the state's most import policy makers helped draft them, including Tom Atkins, The San Diego Democrat who leads the state's Senate.

In fact, Democratic Governor Gov. Gavin Newsome started the group himself, and said in an interview with the Associated Press, that some of the report's proposals are in his new state budget. "We'd be a sanctuary," Newsome satd. He added that he's aware that patients would travel from other states to seek abortions.

"We are looking at ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections."

California already pays for abortions for many low-income residents through Medicaid. And California is one of six states that require private insurance companies to support abortions, although many patients still end up paying deductions and co-payments.

But money won't be a problem for state-funded abortions of patients who come from other states. California's coffers have soared throughout the pandemic, fueling a record budget surplus this year. Next year the state is expected to have a surplus of about $31 billion.

California's affiliate of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, got a sneak preview of how people might seek abortions outside of their home state this year when a Texas law that outlawed abortions after six weeks of pregnancy was allowed to take effect. California's clinics reported a slight increase in patients from Texas.

Now, California's abortion providers are asking California to make it easier for those people to get to the state.

The report recommends funding - including public spending - to support patients seeking abortions for travel expenses such as gas, lodging and transportation and child care. It also asks lawmakers to reimburse abortion providers for service to those who can't afford them, including those who travel to California from other states.

It is unclear how many people would come to California if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

But a recent report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, estimated that 1.3 million more women would drive to California to seek abortions. The Institute predicts most of them would come from Arizona, which has a law on the books that would outlaw abortions, if it becomes legal to do so.

"That will definitely destabilize the abortion provider network," said Fabiola Carrion, interim director for reproductive and sexual health at the National Health Law Program.

That's why the report asks lawmakers to give scholarships to medical students who pledge to offer abortion services in rural areas to help them pay off their student loans.

In other words, even if the Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision - states like California will not only continue to offer abortion, but will subsidize patients to be served - including travel costs.

This is very encouraging!


_________________________

Copyright (c)2022 Michael J. McManus, a syndicated columnist and past president of Marriage Savers. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.com. Hit Search for any topic.


 

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