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Prop 1: It's about more than killing babies

This November, Californians will vote on Proposition 1, which would amend our state constitution to explicitly name abortion and contraception as rights. The amendment lists abortion and contraception as just two of other undefined rights related to “reproductive freedom," leaving dangerously vague what those other new constitutional rights might be. More on that later.

The proposed constitutional amendment reads:

The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.

This section is intended to further the constitutional right to privacy guaranteed by Section 1, and the constitutional right to not be denied equal protection guaranteed by Section 7. Nothing herein narrows or limits the right to privacy or equal protection.

Currently in California, both adult and minor women have a legal right to obtain an abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

In 1969 the California Supreme Court declared that the state constitution contains a right to abortion and in 1997 declared that minors share in that right. The restrictions on third-trimester abortions only deem them “unauthorized” if the abortionist actively makes medical judgments that 1) the baby is viable outside the womb and 2) that the pregnancy does not effect the mother’s health in any way. If he doesn’t ask questions and simply aborts a third-trimester baby, he’s in compliance with the law.

Medi-Cal and private insurers are required to cover abortions on demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

The amendment would not obviously change anything about current abortion practices in California, but it would give constitutional protections to the abortion industry. If, in the future, California voters want to restrict or regulate abortion, they would have to amend the constitution again to allow for the “interference.”

But Proposition 1 guarantees not just the right to abortion and contraception, but “an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions.” This expansive language creates a constitutional right to, for example, obtain children by purchasing eggs, sperm, and surrogacy services without “interference” from state regulation. An underage girl would have the constitutional right to be a surrogate or sell her eggs without parental involvement. Minors would apparently also have an absolute right to sex change drugs and surgery without parental consent. Laws against incest, polygamy, and sex between adults and minors would be unlikely to stand against this new, broad constitutional right to “reproductive freedom.”

Proposition 1 goes much further than embedding a right to abortion in the constitution. Its language is broad enough to establish previously unthinkable acts as constitutional rights.

Vote no Proposition 1.

Download this information as a printable PDF here.

Download this information as a printable PDF in Spanish here.

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