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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.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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