California launched a new website this week to connect people with abortion information and access. Two days later, Governor Gavin Newsom put up billboards in anti-abortion red states to advertise the new site.
The website, abortion.ca.gov, includes pages detailing information about the procedure, California laws and legal protections, and a map of clinics licensed to perform the procedure in the state. It also clarifies that people who do not reside in California can also receive reproductive care in the state.
Two days after announcing that the state had launched the website, Newsom’s gubernatorial re-election campaign set up billboards in seven Republican-led states to advertise the new site and criticize state governors for having restricts abortion.
The billboards feature messages such as “Texas Doesn’t Own Your Body. Yes,” and “Need an Abortion? California Is Ready to Help,” along with the website address on the signs.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 15, 2022
“Here is my message to any woman seeking abortion care in these anti-freedom states: Come to California. We will defend your constitutional right to make decisions about your own health,” the governor said.
According to Newsom’s campaign, 18 billboards have been installed in Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas.
It’s the latest example of the governor using his campaign funds to run political ads in other states. In July, he aired a TV spot in Florida criticizing state leaders for restricting abortion and LGBTQ talk or literature in schools.
Out-of-state advertising spending means the governor doesn’t care about his chances of getting re-elected this year against Republican opponent Brian Dahle, a state senator from rural Northern California. Newsom has a campaign war chest of $24 million while Dahle had raised $1.5 million, according to financial reports, through June this year.
Despite political attacks on Republican states, Newsom has repeatedly maintained that he has a “less than zero interest” in running for president in 2024.
Abortion advocates welcomed the new website as a resource for people seeking care and accurate information.
“There is so much misinformation and misinformation out there right now. People are just confused about what’s legal,” and that’s exacerbated by rapidly changing laws, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California president Jodi Hicks told CapRadio with Vicki Gonzalez Thursday. “This is a website that lets you know your legal rights, lets you know where you can find care [and] where resources are available.
The new website was funded through a $1 million budget allocation approved in June. An additional $20 million has been earmarked for abortion clinics to distribute grants to patients who need help paying for childcare, travel, accommodation or other expenses that would limit access to an abortion.
A bill sitting on Newsom’s desk would require the state to provide such a website. If the bill is signed into law, the site will need to include additional links to resources such as the Abortion Fund, which typically helps with costs, including travel and accommodation, for people seeking an abortion. abortion.
The website is currently only available in English and Spanish, but the Newsom administration says it will soon be translated into Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Korean.
Abortion providers say there have been notable shifts in demand since the June US Supreme Court ruling that struck down the nation’s abortion rights.
“We’re still trying to figure out patient patterns and what that flow will look like,” Hicks said. We certainly see an increase, for example, in any city that has an airport. We know people like to drive, but it depends on how far apart they are [clinic] is.”
She said patients could also make decisions based on having a friend or relative in a particular city that they could stay with to get an abortion.
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