Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to let Arizona doctors provide abortions in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Arizona doctors can give their patients abortions in California under a proposal announced Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom to circumvent a ban on nearly all abortions in that state.

It would apply only to doctors licensed in good standing in Arizona and their patients, and last only through the end of November. Arizona’s 1864 law banning nearly all abortions except if the mother’s life is in jeopardy takes effect June 8.

“Arizona Republicans continue to put women in danger—embracing a draconian law passed when Arizona was a territory, not even a state,” Newsom said in a statement. “California will not sit idly by.”

Besides Arizona, 14 other states have banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy. While abortion access in California has never been under serious threat, Newsom — widely seen as a potential presidential candidate beyond 2024 — has made defending that access a priority of his administration.

Newsom pushed for abortion access to be enshrined into the California Constitution. He approved $20 million of taxpayer money to help pay for women in other states to come to California for abortions. He signed dozens of laws aimed at making it harder for other states to investigate women for coming to California for abortions, including banning social media companies from complying with subpoenas or warrants.

His actions have endeared him to the Democratic Party’s core constituencies despite some of the state’s other problems — including homelessness, wildfire insurance and a pair of multibillion-dollar budget deficits.

In 2022, months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, California launched a publicly-funded website to promote the state’s abortion services, including information about financial help for travel expenses and letting teenagers in other states know that California does not require them to have their parents’ permission to get an abortion in the state.

It’s also become a chief talking point in Newsom’s role as a top surrogate of President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign. Using money left over from his 2022 reelection campaign, Newsom started a political action committee he calls the “ Campaign for Democracy ” that has paid for billboards and TV ads in Republican-led states to criticize their leaders’ attempts to outlaw or restrict access to abortions. In February, he launched ads in multiple states to criticize proposals there that aimed to prohibit out-of-state travel for abortions.

When an Alabama lawmaker introduced a bill to make it a crime to help someone under 18 get an abortion without telling their parents or guardians, Newsom paid for an ad depicting a young woman trying to leave the state only to be stopped by a police officer who demands that she take a pregnancy test.


Associated Press writer Adam Beam contributed to this report.


Sophie Austin reported from Sacramento. Austin is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Austin on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter: @sophieadanna

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