California voters will decide whether to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution, following the Assembly's vote on Monday to place the question on the November ballot.
With the passage of Senate Constitutional Amendment 10, state lawmakers positioned California as a sanctuary for reproductive rights. If a majority of voters approve the amendment, California would be among the first states to protect abortion rights in its constitution. The move comes just days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which revokes the longstanding constitutional right to an abortion.
"Friday was a dark day," state Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, the measure's author, said in a statement. "Today, we provide a ray of hope by enabling voters to enshrine reproductive rights in our constitution, reflecting California’s values and protecting all who need abortion, contraceptives, and other reproductive care in our state."
The measure, which required two-thirds approval but no gubernatorial sign-off, cleared the Assembly on a 58-16 vote.
The text of SCA 10 is sparse: If approved by voters, California's constitution would include language stopping the state "from denying or interfering with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives."