On Tuesday, November 8, voters will have the opportunity to put Abortion rights in the California Constitution.
Recently the US Supreme Court overturned the Roe v Wade decision, which guaranteed the right to an abortion in the United States. In response, a number of states have passed new laws, or implemented old laws, to prohibit abortion.
In California, abortion has been legal since 1967. That year Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act introduced by Sen. Anthony Beilenson . Since that time, there has been no serious threat to abortion rights in California. Most Republicans who have run for statewide office in California have supported the right to abortion.
The California legislature put Proposition 1 on the ballot mainly as a symbolic response to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade. It will enable a large majority of voters in the largest state to make a statement in favor of reproductive freedom. Polls indicate a large majority will vote in favor of Proposition 1 in order to make a statement. But Proposition 1 has more importance than that.
Proposition 1 amends the California Constitution to expressly include an individual’s fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which includes the fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and the fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. This amendment does not narrow or limit the existing rights to privacy and equal protection under the California Constitution.
In 1973 the Supreme Court decided that the Constitution provides a right to privacy, implied in the First, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments. It ruled that the right to privacy guarantees the right to make personal decisions concerning reproduction. The Roe v Wade ruling guaranteed a very personal freedom for women in America.
Roe v Wade also protected Republican politicians, who could advocate limits on abortion to appeal to anti-abortion voters, and still appeal for votes from pro-choice conservatives, moderates and libertarians. Roe v Wade removed the issue of abortion from political control, even if abortion remained an issue for political controversy. By overturning Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court made abortion a political issue again, and Republican candidates are facing a backlash over their support for restrictions on abortion.
If voters put the right to contraception and abortion in the California Constitution, it will remove it as a political issue in California. Currently California is dominated by the Democratic Party. Many who want to vote against the Democrats hesitate to support conservative candidates who might threaten this freedom. With the passage of Proposition 1, conservatives might begin to make a comeback in California politics. In alliance with pro-choice moderates and libertarians, conservatives could fight against the growth of government and California’s punishing tax rates.
Vote Yes on Proposition 1, to protect a woman’s right to control her own body. Vote Yes on Proposition 1 and end California’s one party dominance. Vote Yes to send a message to America that many Americans support the freedom of women to make the most personal decision. Vote Yes for Personal Freedom.