Democracy

California says it will pass a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights

'California will not stand idly by as women across America are stripped of their rights and the progress so many have fought for gets erased.'

California says it will pass a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights

The announcement follows the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade.

In light of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, California governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced that they will propose an amendment that would place permanent protections for abortion into the state’s constitution.



That statement (below) reads:

“California will not stand idly by as women across America are stripped of their rights and the progress so many have fought for gets erased. We will fight. California is proposing an amendment to enshrine the right to choose in our state constitution so that there is no doubt as to the right to abortion in this state. We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution. Women will remain protected here.”

Newsom posted to his own Twitter page, saying “our daughter, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers will not be silenced. The world is about to hear their fury.”

California has long positioned itself as a safe haven for those seeking an abortion, making it accessible to minors without need of parental consent, and even allowing non-California residents to receive them. Newsom told The Associated Press in Dec 2021, “We’ll be a sanctuary. We are looking at ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections.”


One protection already existing is the Abortion Accessibility Act, which eliminates out-of-pocket costs for abortion services covered by health plans. This comes as a direct response to “nationwide attacks on reproductive rights,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, adding that “California will continue to lead by example and ensure all women and pregnant people have autonomy over their bodies and the ability to control their own destinies.”

Though the reveal of the draft has no immediate effect on abortion access, if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, 13 states with “trigger laws” in place would immediately enact the ban. And, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights advocacy group, that number shoots to 23 states based on passed laws that predate Roe.

However, AXIOS reports that at least 17 states, not just California, have enacted laws to keep abortion legal.

For example, in March 2022, Colorado created a bill called the “Reproductive Health Equity Act” codifying the right to abortion. AXIOS added that, similar to California, abortion advocates in Colorado are potentially pursuing a ballot measure in 2024 to place abortion access in the state’s constitution. In Vermont, lawmakers have already voted to protect abortion rights under the state’s constitution. If passed, it would be the first state to do so. And in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill prohibiting legal action against people seeking abortion and those who aid them, ensuring the state won’t endure a Texas-style ban.

In less than 50 years time, the right to abortion might once again be in the hands of the states, rather than nationally protected. The thought of that looming potential reality is a nightmare for many. However, there is a small (very small) comfort in seeing some states taking countermeasures.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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