- California’s budget proposal includes $20M for health care workers committed to abortion services.
- It’s part of an effort to become a “sanctuary” state for abortions should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
- The Supreme Court is likely to uphold an abortion ban in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Californians who are studying to work in health care might get help paying their way through school — if they commit to providing reproductive health services while on the job.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom released his $227 billion budget proposal last week for the upcoming fiscal year which includes $20 million to incentivize students studying health care to commit to providing abortion access. It also highlighted investments in the state’s pandemic response, including improving education from kindergarten through college, and combatting the climate crisis.
“As always, our Budget is built on our core California values of inclusion, economic growth and a brighter future for all,” Newsom said in a statement.
The proposal comes at a time when the legality of abortion is being challenged in the Supreme Court, with the landmark Roe v. Wade decision at risk of being overturned. If that happens, Newsom has a vision of California as a “sanctuary” state. To ensure his residents will have abortion access, he’s proposing a one-time investment in helping a new generation of health care workers pay off their student-loans and receive scholarships — as long as they commit to providing abortion access throughout their careers.
According to the budget summary, this investment from the Department of Health Care Access and Information provides scholarships and loan repayments “to a variety of health care provider types that commit to providing reproductive health care services.”
The inclusion of this investment in the budget follows December recommendations from the California Future of Abortion Council. The group, comprised of over 40 abortion providers and advocacy groups, was started by Newsom himself, and it recommended that the state “optimize loan repayment” to retain and recruit clinicians who provide abortion care.
This is part of California’s plan to become a “sanctuary” state for abortions, meaning it will still permit abortions regardless of federal law. Currently, Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that legalized abortions in the US, is at risk of being struck down, with the Supreme Court most recently hearing arguments to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Given the conservative majority on the Court, the ban is likely to be upheld, and it sets an alarming precedent for pregnant people across the country seeking abortion access. For example, Vice President Kamala Harris recently said “women will die” if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“In particular, women who don’t have economic resources and can’t then travel to places or somehow have access to safe reproductive health care, including abortion,” Harris said. “And it is not an extreme statement, it is a fact.”