Democrats rally in Long Beach for abortion rights measure Prop. 1

California’s top Democrats rallied in Long Beach Sunday morning to urge voters to support Proposition 1, a state constitutional amendment that would prevent the state from passing measures limiting access to abortion or contraception.

Gov. Gavin Newsom told a vocal gathering at Long Beach City College that the fight was part of a larger fight in the state and across the country to uphold not only “reproductive freedom,” but other rights, including the right to vote and free speech.

“This is our opportunity to send a strong message to the people across America that we stand behind them,” Newsom said. “That it’s not just about 40 million of us in California; that we stand behind them. We believe in reproductive freedom. We believe in women’s right to choose. We believe in these fundamental freedoms and we will not take this moment for granted.”

Newsom cited a report by the American Library Assn. that said attempts to ban books across the country had peaked in 2022, with a total of 1,651 separate titles being targeted in mid-September, with more than three still remaining months remain year.

“You can’t make this up,” Newsom said, noting that some of the authors and subjects challenged included Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, Cesar Chavez and Mahatma Gandhi, as well as “books that celebrate all of our interesting differences.” He concluded, “We need to wake up to what’s going on in America!”

Newsom was joined at the event by US Senator Alex Padilla, Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and a host of other Democrats.

Jodi Hicks, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said California’s aggressive crackdown on the US Supreme Court ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade is having a real impact on out-of-state residents and women. She said the state’s $200 million spending would help “ensure people can get the reproductive health care — including abortion, including contraception — they need, no matter where they call home.”

Party leaders have formulated Proposition 1 as a way to guarantee abortion rights and reaffirm the protections already established in state law and the California Supreme Court. In June, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion in the US, in a 5-1 decision.

Opponents have argued that Prop. 1 is not clear enough regarding restrictions on late abortions and that the previous actions of the legislature and the state Supreme Court rendered the measure redundant. Some advocates of a “no” vote are presenting Prop. 1 as a measure to get Democratic voters to cast their ballot in the election, which ends in an in-person vote on Tuesday. Democrats rally in Long Beach for abortion rights measure Prop. 1

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