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California one step closer to constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights

toni Atkins Midday 062922.jpg
KPBS news
California State Senate President Toni Atkins joined KPBS Midday Edition on June 29, 2022.

On Monday, the California State Assembly voted to amend the state constitution to explicitly protect reproductive rights.

"The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions," the amendment begins.

After reaching the necessary supermajority votes in both the state senate and assembly, the fate of the constitutional amendment will be up to California voters in November.

"In California, we very much believe and value the right to abortion and contraception, to accept it or refuse it. And so we just want to make sure that it's enshrined and we reaffirm peace of mind for those who live in California that they will not lose this right, either now or going forward for future generations," said state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego.)

Atkins joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to talk about why she felt it was important to introduce the amendment, and what role California can play to residents in other states facing abortion restrictions.

"I grew up in one of those states, and so I want to be here to welcome women and families and those who come from other states. And in fact, we already know that they are coming. Ask the providers," Atkins said. "We've already seen an increase."

California voters will decide whether the amendment is added to the state constitution when they vote in November's midterm election. A simple majority will ensure final passage.