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California Leaders Propose To Enshrine Right To Choose In State Constitution, Sound Off On Report Of High Court's Vote To Overturn Abortion Rights

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — State leaders in California were sounding off Monday night after a report of a leaked draft opinion suggested the U.S. Supreme Court privately voted to overturn abortion rights instituted in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade.

Politico published the report after claiming it had obtained the leaked document.

Senator Toni Atkins said California will protect abortion rights if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Atkins released a joint statement with the governor and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon reading:

"California will not stand idly by as women across America are stripped of their rights and the progress so many have fought for gets erased. We will fight. California is proposing an amendment to enshrine the right to choose in our state constitution so that there is no doubt as to the right to abortion in this state. We know we can't trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution. Women will remain protected here."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a series of tweets calling the reported vote an "abomination."

Pelosi released a joint statement on the report with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reading:

"If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans.

"The Republican-appointed Justices' reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.

"Several of these conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court's reputation – all at the expense of tens of millions of women who could soon be stripped of their bodily autonomy and the constitutional rights they've relied on for half a century.

"The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower has now completely devolved into the party of Trump. Every Republican Senator who supported Senator McConnell and voted for Trump Justices pretending that this day would never come will now have to explain themselves to the American people."

Not long after Politico's report was released, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that California would not sit back and said the high court's decision, if the reported vote holds true, would "be the end of fundamental constitutional rights that American women have had for nearly 50 years." California Assemblymember Kevin Kiley called the governor's statement "irresponsible."

Newsom has been aiming to make California a sanctuary state for reproductive care such as abortions.

Back in January, Gov. Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom emphasized California's commitment to preserving access to reproductive health care services in the face of national challenges to reproductive rights.

"At a time when some across our nation are purposefully and deliberately choosing to attack women's reproductive rights, California will continue to be a beacon of light – expanding access to abortion and reproductive care, and ensuring our state is a place where people receive critical reproductive health care services quickly and safely," said Governor Newsom and First Partner Siebel Newsom.

First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom on Monday called the court's reported vote "archaic."

California Lt. Gov. Eleni Koulounakis was one of many other state leaders to speak out on the report.

"Reproductive freedom is at risk of being dismantled at the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court - and it is appalling. Should this draft SCOTUS opinion hold, CA is ready to ensure that everyone can continue to have control over their bodies and lives, now and always," Lt. Gov. Eleni Koulounakis said Monday night.

Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby said the high court's vote was about control.

"Be clear about what this means. Without the ability to control our own bodies we are not truly free. This is about control. This is about freedom," she said.

In response to the report, Planned Parenthood, the nonprofit that provides sexual healthcare, including abortions, said the nation has reached a "crisis moment" but said abortions are still legal at the moment.

"Let's be clear: This is a draft opinion. It's outrageous, it's unprecedented, but it is not final. Abortion is your right — and it is STILL LEGAL." the organization tweeted.

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