State Sen. Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego and the Senate's top leader, said deciding whether or not to get an abortion is “profoundly personal.” Atkins worked at an abortion clinic in San Diego, where she said most of her clients chose to get abortions but some did not once presented with all their options.
“Women need support for whatever they decide they need to do, and they need to be able to talk to their health care provider, their advocate, to get that information and be directed to where they need to go," she said. “People don't want to think about having an abortion every day. ... I think people should have the luxury not to have to think about this, unless it becomes something they need.”
The abortion bill that got the most attention in California aims to stop prosecutors from charging patients with murder for having stillbirths because of drug use or other issues before birth. If prosecutors charge them anyway, the legislation would let patients sue them for damages.
Democrats amended the bill to make clear it only prevented prosecutions for pregnancy losses that occurred “in utero.” But abortion-rights foes said the bill was too broad and would prevent coroners from investigating some infant deaths.
“This bill's true purpose is to cover up the crime of a botched abortion or self-induced abortion,” said Republican Sen. Shannon Grove.
Lawmakers likely aren't finished passing abortion bills. Atkins said she feels that California is still “in the process” of responding to the end of federal abortion protections, adding that many communities in California still don't have abortion providers.
“The goal is to make sure that every county in every community has coverage,” Atkins said. “We are starting to see more women, and it’s going to cause others to have to wait.”