California Joining Texas Lawsuit Opposing Prohibition on Out of State ‘Abortion’ Travel

Regardless of whether it should be legal, abortion is undoubtedly a cruel process.

However, abortion has become a virtual sacrament in California. Governor Gavin Newsom recently spent $100,000 on billboards in 7 red states to promote “abortion tourism” and invite women to come to California to have an abortion. State is spending $1 million on new website promoting abortion in Calfornia. And California has pledged $200 million to pay for the travel and housing expenses of women in other states who come to California and have abortions.

Now, California Attorney General Rob Bonta is jumping into the fray by siding with a Texas lawsuit against a ban on travel from that state to receive or perform abortions.

Bonta is leading a coalition of 19 attorneys general and the Washington, DC Attorney General that just filed a “Friend of the Court” brief in favor of the plaintiffs. He was joined by the Attorneys General for Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Attorney General Rob Bonta. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“For over 150 years, the right to travel has been a fundamental freedom in the United States. Now that right is under threat from extreme anti-abortion lawmakers like those in Texas — but California is pushing back,” Bonta said in a press release. “We will not allow anti-choice states to unlawfully violate people’s rights to work, care, visit and move freely across state lines. Reproductive rights are fully protected in California, and we will use every tool in our toolbox to ensure our state remains a safe haven for anyone seeking reproductive care.”

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Bonta’s office said the coalition states that submitted the amicus curiae letter have a strong interest here because thousands of “coalition state” residents live in Texas to attend college, attend graduate school or work as temporary workers to serve; Millions of others come to Texas as visitors each year. The Coalition has a significant interest in ensuring these residents can leave Texas and return to their home state to access time-sensitive, legal and safe medical care, including abortion.”

The lawsuit, which Bonta supports, was filed by 8 abortion groups and a gynecologist in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division in early August. Plaintiffs are Fund Texas Choice, North Texas Equal Access Fund, Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Frontera Fund, The Afiya Center, West Fund, Jane’s Due Process, Clinic Access Support Network and Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi.

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Their complaint alleges that Texas law violates “the plaintiffs’ rights to freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of expression, and free assistance to members of their communities through financial assistance, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and federal statutes.”

The Texas plaintiffs are seeking a federal judge for an injunction prohibiting the enactment of the law.

In the Amici Curiae letter filed by Bonta and his fellow attorneys general, they urge the judge to block implementation of the law because it interferes with well-established constitutional rights to travel, which affects all states that filed the brief .

“In addition to protecting plaintiff’s own travel rights, an injunction would help protect the health and liberty of Amici State residents who are in Texas as students, temp workers or visitors and would allow them to travel to the Amici States .”

“And it would prevent Texas from interfering with the safety of Texas residents seeking refuge within the borders of the Amici states” to procure abortion services.

“Amici States” — meaning states that have signed the Order — “have a vested interest in ensuring that participants in our healthcare systems are not deterred by the risk of criminal liability or costly litigation when they enter our jurisdictions from Texas travel to engage in conduct consistent with our state laws.”

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The brief concludes by saying that “an injunction ensuring that plaintiffs and others in a similar situation are free to travel interstate for out-of-state abortion-related purposes would avoid significant harm and benefit the public interest.”

But to a pro-life activist, California’s obsession with abortion tourism is grotesque.

John Gerardi, director of Right to Life in central California, told the California Globe, “We oppose all direct abortion funding and the funding of out-of-state people who come to have abortions. It’s a massive misuse of taxpayers’ money because we have so many problems with prenatal care in this state.”

He said Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, pays doctors very low rates for prenatal services; Consequently, poor pregnant women face difficulties in obtaining adequate care.

Government dollars should be used to help pregnant women, not to fund abortions from government funds, Giradi argues. “It’s ridiculous that we’re bending over backwards” to fund out-of-state abortions when our own “citizens need help.”

Regarding Bonta’s legal action, Gerardi said, “It’s annoying that successive attorneys general have focused more on suing the Trump administration or the states than California law enforcement.”

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