Californians overwhelmingly support the right to legal abortion. So why are state and national Democrats spending time — and millions of dollars — campaigning for a reproductive rights ballot measure?
Proposition 1 would add the “fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” including the right to abortion and to contraception — to the state constitution. After the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the national right to an abortion earlier this year, advocates say it would provide stronger protections against potential national abortion restrictions, such as the one introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Prop. 1 is poised to overwhelmingly pass: a recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California showed 69% of voters support it while 25% say they will vote no.
But the good numbers haven’t stopped prominent Democrats from pouring time and money into supporting the measure.
On Thursday, former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in San Francisco to praise California lawmakers’ recent actions to expand abortion access and to campaign for Prop. 1….
Of the more than $9 million raised by Prop. 1 backers, $2 million came from Governor Gavin Newsom. He also dedicated the first ad of his re-election campaign to boost the measure, which he argues would ensure “California remains a [reproductive] freedom state forever.”
Other Democrats are spending big on the measure, too, including Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis ($100,000), state Sen. Anthony Portantino ($195,000) and Assembly member and congressional candidate Adam Gray ($51,000)….
Democratic political strategist Robin Swanson said the spending from top officials on a measure that’s already polling well shows how important the issue of reproductive rights is to leaders like Newsom following the Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade….
It also falls in line with Democrats’ efforts to “send a message to the rest of the country that California is a safe haven for women seeking abortions,” Swanson said….
No on Prop 1 campaign spokesperson Catherine Hadro said the infusion of cash from the left shows “that the yes side feels vulnerable.”
Opponents argue the proposition, if approved, would legalize abortions later in pregnancy. Current law limits abortions after viability — or when a fetus becomes viable outside the womb — which is typically around 23 weeks.
“We know we can absolutely win as voters continue to see that Proposition 1 overturns state law and allows late-term abortion up until the moment of birth,” Hadro said….
The above comes from an Oct. 17 story on capradio.