Prop 1: 2022

Proposition 1

Constitutional Right To Reproductive Freedom

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The Measure

Measure Identification

Measure ID: Proposition 1
Measure Name: Constitutional Right To Reproductive Freedom
Type of Ballot Measure: Legislative Constitutional Amendment
Election: 2022 General


The Question

Should the California Constitution expressly provide that the State of California shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, including the right to choose to have an abortion and their right to choose or refuse contraception?

The Situation

The right to privacy, including the right to decide whether to give birth, has been largely eliminated at the Federal level by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. There is concern that the right to obtain and use contraceptives under the U.S. Constitution’s implied right to privacy may also be under similar threat.

Currently, the California Constitution provides that all people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights, including, among others, the right to privacy. It also provides that a person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the laws. There is a California Supreme Court case which holds that the state Constitution’s express right to privacy extends to an individual’s decision about whether or not to have an abortion.

Existing California statutory law also provides, under the Reproductive Privacy Act, that the Legislature finds and declares every individual possesses a fundamental right of privacy with respect to personal reproductive decisions; therefore, it is the public policy of the State of California that every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse birth control, and every individual has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child or to choose to obtain an abortion.

The State can only restrict abortions when needed to meet certain state interests such as public health and safety. State statute says abortions can only be performed on a viable fetus if the pregnancy puts the health or life of the pregnant person at risk. Under state law, a fetus is considered viable if the fetus likely would be able to survive outside the uterus.

However, in light of the above-mentioned U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision, concerns have been expressed as to whether a future California court might overturn existing case law or statutory law to eliminate the right to reproductive choice.

The Proposal

Prop 1:

  • Prohibits the State from denying or interfering with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.
  • Specifies that this constitutional amendment is intended to further the constitutional right of privacy and the constitutional right to not be denied equal protection.
  • Specifies that nothing contained in the measure narrows or limits the right to privacy or to equal protection.

Fiscal Effect

There are no estimated fiscal effects from the passage of Prop 1.

Supporters Say

  • Prop 1 will enshrine the fundamental right to an abortion and a fundamental right to contraception in the California State Constitution.
  • Doctors, nurses, and health providers all agree that Yes on Prop 1 is necessary to keep reproductive medical decisions where they belong—with individuals and their health care providers based on scientific facts, not political arguments.

Opponents Say

  • Women already have the right to choose under current California law.  The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling did not and will not change this.  Prop 1 is not needed to protect women’s health or their reproductive rights.
  • Prop 1 is an extreme, costly proposal that allows unrestricted late-term abortions and punishes taxpayers; abortion seekers from outside California will swamp California resources.

Link to Official Support

Protect Constitutional Abortion Rights

Link to Official Opposition

California Catholic Conference

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