Opponents of California’s Abortion Rights Measure Mislead on Expense to Taxpayers

“With Proposition 1, the variety of abortion seekers from different states will soar even larger, costing taxpayers tens of millions extra.”

California Collectively, No on Proposition 1, on its website, Aug. 16, 2022

California Together, a marketing campaign led by spiritual and anti-abortion teams, is hoping to influence voters to reject a ballot measure that will cement the suitable to abortion within the state’s structure. The group is warning that taxpayers will probably be on the hook for an inflow of abortion seekers from out of state.

Proposition 1 was positioned on the poll by the Democratic-controlled legislature in response to the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. If handed, it might shield a person’s “elementary proper to decide on to have an abortion,” together with the right to birth control.

California Collectively’s website says: “With Proposition 1, the variety of abortion seekers from different states will soar even larger, costing taxpayers tens of millions extra.”

The marketing campaign raised comparable value issues in a voter information guide that will probably be mailed out to each registered voter forward of the Nov. 8 election. One distinguished argument is that Proposition 1 will flip California right into a “sanctuary state” for abortion seekers, together with these in late-term being pregnant — and that will be a drain on tax {dollars}.

We determined to take a better take a look at these eye-catching statements to see how nicely they maintain up when damaged down.

We reached out to California Collectively to search out out the premise for its arguments in opposition to the measure. The marketing campaign cited an evaluation from the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute, which estimated earlier than Roe was overturned that the variety of girls ages 15 to 49 whose nearest abortion supplier could be in California would increase 3,000% in response to state abortion bans. The Guttmacher evaluation mentioned most of California’s out-of-state sufferers would probably come from Arizona as a result of it’s inside driving distance.

California Collectively doesn’t cite a particular value to taxpayers for the measure. Reasonably, it factors to tens of millions of {dollars} the state has already allotted to help abortion and reproductive well being companies as a sign of how way more the state may spend if the proposed modification passes.

Sources point out that persons are already coming to the state for abortion companies.

Jessica Pinckney, govt director of Oakland-based Entry Reproductive Justice, which supplies monetary and emotional help for individuals who have abortions in California, mentioned the group had skilled a rise in out-of-state calls even earlier than the excessive courtroom dominated in June. Pinckney anticipates dealing with extra instances as extra states limit abortion — no matter Proposition 1’s end result.

Will It Price Taxpayers Hundreds of thousands?

In its fiscal yr 2022-23 finances, California dedicated more than $200 million to increasing reproductive well being care companies, together with $20 million for a fund to cowl the journey bills of abortion seekers, no matter what state they reside in. As soon as it’s up and operating in 2023, the fund will present grants to nonprofit organizations that assist girls with transportation and lodging.

Nonetheless, none of that spending is related to Proposition 1, mentioned Carolyn Chu, chief deputy legislative analyst on the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Workplace. It’s already allotted within the finances and will probably be doled out subsequent yr no matter what occurs with the poll measure.

Ultimately, the Legislative Analyst’s Workplace discovered “no direct fiscal effect” if Proposition 1 passes as a result of Californians have already got abortion protections. And other people touring from out of state don’t qualify for state-subsidized well being applications, akin to Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, Chu added in an interview. “If folks have been to journey to California for companies, together with abortion, that doesn’t imply they’re eligible for Medi-Cal,” she mentioned.

Nonetheless, Proposition 1 opponents see the price argument taking part in out differently.

Richard Temple, a marketing campaign strategist for California Collectively, mentioned a “no” vote will ship lawmakers a mandate to cease the help fund. “Defeat Prop. 1, and also you ship a loud sign to the legislature and to the governor that you simply don’t need to pay for these sorts of bills for folks coming in from out of state,” Temple mentioned.

What About an Inflow of Abortion Seekers?

A key ingredient of California Collectively’s argument is pegged to the concept that California will turn out to be a sanctuary state for abortion seekers. Opponents assert that Proposition 1 opens the door to a brand new authorized interpretation of the state’s Reproductive Privacy Act. At the moment, that legislation permits abortion as much as the purpose of viability, normally across the twenty fourth week of being pregnant, or later to guard the life or well being of the affected person.

An argument made within the voter information in opposition to the constitutional modification is that it might permit all late-term abortions “even when the mother’s life is not in danger, even when the healthy baby could survive outside the womb.”

As a result of the proposition says the state can’t intervene with the suitable to abortion, opponents argue that present legislation limiting most abortions after viability will turn out to be unconstitutional. They contend that with out restrictions, California will draw hundreds, probably tens of millions, of ladies in late-term being pregnant.

Statistically, that’s unlikely. The state doesn’t report abortion figures, however nationwide solely 1% of abortions happen at 21 weeks or later, based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Whether or not there will probably be a brand new interpretation if Proposition 1 passes is up for debate.

UCLA legislation professor Cary Franklin, who makes a speciality of reproductive rights, mentioned that simply because Proposition 1 establishes a normal proper to abortion doesn’t imply all abortion would turn out to be authorized. Constitutional language is at all times broad, and legal guidelines and laws can add restrictions to these rights. For instance, she mentioned, the Second Modification to the U.S. Structure grants the suitable to bear arms, however legal guidelines and laws limit kids from buying weapons.

“The modification doesn’t displace any of that legislation,” Franklin mentioned.

However present legislation was written and interpreted underneath California’s present structure, which doesn’t have an express proper to abortion, mentioned Tom Campbell, a former legislator who teaches legislation at Chapman College. If Proposition 1 passes, courts may interpret issues in another way. “Any restriction imposed by the state on abortion must be reconsidered,” Campbell mentioned.

The Legislative Analyst’s Workplace concluded that “whether or not a courtroom may interpret the proposition to broaden reproductive rights past present legislation is unclear.”

California voters will quickly have their say.

Polling has discovered widespread help for the constitutional modification. An August survey by the Berkeley IGS Ballot discovered 71% of voters would vote “sure” on Proposition 1. A September survey by the Public Coverage Institute of California pegged help at 69%.

Our Ruling

California Collectively warns voters: “With Proposition 1, the variety of abortion seekers from different states will soar even larger, costing taxpayers tens of millions extra.”

Proposition 1 would shield a person’s “elementary proper to decide on to have an abortion.”

Whereas it may result in extra folks coming to California for abortion companies, that’s already taking place, even earlier than voters resolve on the measure.

As well as, Proposition 1 doesn’t allocate any new spending. So the $20 million state fund to cowl journey bills for abortion seekers would exist no matter whether or not the constitutional modification is adopted. Backside line: A nonpartisan analyst discovered there will probably be no direct fiscal impression to the state, and out-of-state residents don’t qualify for state-subsidized well being applications.

It’s speculative that Proposition 1 would broaden abortion rights past what’s presently allowed or that the state would allocate more cash for out-of-state residents.

As a result of the assertion accommodates some reality however ignores crucial details to provide a distinct impression, we charge the assertion Largely False.


California Collectively, No on Proposition 1, “Q&A: What You Should Know About Prop 1,” accessed Aug. 22, 2022

Legislative Analyst’s Workplace, Analysis of Proposition 1, accessed Aug. 22, 2022

E mail interview with Kelli Reid, director of consumer companies at McNally Temple Associates, Aug. 24, 2022

Cellphone interview with Carolyn Chu, chief deputy legislative analyst, Legislative Analyst’s Workplace, Sept. 12, 2022

CalMatters, “California Fails to Collect Basic Abortion Data — Even as It Invites an Out-of-State Influx,” June 27, 2022

California Well being Advantages Assessment Program, “Analysis of California Senate Bill 245 Abortion Services: Cost Sharing,” accessed Sept. 12, 2022

SB 1142, Abortion Services, accessed Sept. 12, 2022

Cellphone interview with Richard Temple, marketing campaign strategist for California Collectively, Sept. 12, 2022

Cellphone interview with Cary Franklin, legislation professor at UCLA Faculty of Legislation, Sept. 13, 2022

Cellphone interview with Luke Koushmaro, senior coverage analyst, Legislative Analyst’s Workplace, Sept. 13, 2022

Gov. Gavin Newsom, remarks in Sacramento, California, June 27, 2022

Public Coverage Institute of California, “PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government,” accessed Sept. 13, 2022

California state finances, Health and human services summary document, accessed Sept. 14, 2022

Cellphone interview with Jessica Pinckney, govt director of Entry Reproductive Justice, Sept. 15, 2022

Cellphone interview with Tom Campbell, legislation professor at Chapman College, Sept. 15, 2022

SB 1301, Reproductive Privacy Act, accessed Sept. 19, 2022

E mail interview with H.D. Palmer, deputy director for exterior affairs on the California Division of Finance, Sept. 20, 2022

This story was produced by KHN, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially unbiased service of the California Health Care Foundation.


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