California Now Allows Arizona Doctors to Perform Abortions

New law allows doctors to perform abortions for their patients amid a temporary state ban
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2024 8:30 AM CDT
California to Arizona Doctors: Come Perform Abortions Here
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference in Sacramento, California, on May 10, 2024.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File)

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, reports the AP. California's law is meant to give Arizonans an option to receive legal abortions from their doctor over the next several months when nearly all abortions in the state will be temporarily banned. There's a law in Arizona—first passed in 1864, but not enforced for decades—that bans nearly all abortions in the state. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that law would take effect in June since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The state Legislature quickly voted to repeal that law, and Arizona's Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs promptly signed it. But the repeal won't take effect until September at the earliest, leaving an approximately three-month window when most abortions would be banned in the state. California's new law, which takes effect immediately, allows licensed doctors in Arizona to come to California and perform abortions for their patients through the end of November. Licensed Arizona doctors still have to fill out an application. But if the doctors meet certain requirements, the law directs California regulators to approve their application within five business days. "California stands ready to protect reproductive freedom," Newsom said.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, more than 20 states began enforcing abortion bans of varying degrees. California has done the opposite, with Newsom vowing to make the state a "sanctuary" for people in other states seeking abortions. California has passed dozens of laws to protect abortion access, including setting aside $20 million in taxpayer money to help pay for patients in other states to travel to California to get an abortion. The law Newsom signed on Thursday does not include new money to help Arizona patients travel to California for abortions. But Newsom partnered with the advocacy group Red Wine and Blue to raise money from private donors to help Arizona patients travel to California. The group has raised just over $111,000 toward its nearly $500,000 goal, according to its website. (More abortion stories.)

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