Even Without Roe v. Wade, Abortion is Still Legal in California. Here’s What You Need to Know | KQED

Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed the federal constitutional right to an abortion, has been overturned as of Friday, June 24, 2022.

Many throughout the nation awaited this end result with a mixture of concern, anger and disappointment, ever since a Supreme Court draft opinion within the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked in May. Individual states now have the ability to ban any and all abortion procedures.

You could also be worrying about what’s going to occur right here in California — or maybe you’re unclear on what our state’s abortion legal guidelines already are.

Read on for what you must learn about abortion in California, together with when somebody can get an abortion, what sort of abortions can be found and what sources can be found for individuals with out insurance coverage or those that reside distant from abortion clinics. We’ll hold updating this put up as we get extra data.

Can’t discover a solution to one thing you are involved about? Send us your question here. Here’s a fast breakdown of the information. Click on the hyperlinks under to skip to a selected part:

What are California’s abortion legal guidelines proper now?

California ensures the proper to abortion in statute and the state structure. Our state’s abortion legal guidelines are the strongest within the United States.

California lawmakers are also working to enshrine the proper to an abortion and to make use of or refuse contraceptives. Both officers and abortion suppliers have made it very clear that abortion entry in California is not going to change due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s choice in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Here’s what to learn about present abortion legal guidelines in California:


You can get an abortion in California, for any cause, till roughly six months after conception

A pregnant individual of any age can search an abortion for any cause at any time till the purpose the place the fetus might survive outdoors the womb – generally known as “viability.”

This level the place a fetus is taken into account viable is roughly on the six-month mark of being pregnant. Some docs might alternatively assess that cutoff for viability by how a lot a fetus weighs.

As CalIssues writes, exactly how that threshold gets decided is “up to a physician’s ‘good faith medical judgement’ — in practicality, most docs contemplate a fetus viable at 24 weeks or as soon as a fetus weighs 500 grams.”

In California, there aren’t any enforced ready durations between requesting an abortion and getting one.


After six months of being pregnant, you’ll be able to solely get an abortion in sure circumstances

After a fetus has reached the time or weight threshold of viability, an abortion is simply doable if persevering with the being pregnant threatens the pregnant individual’s life or well being.


If you are below 18, you do not want your mother and father’ permission to get an abortion in California

Minors do not require parental consent to get an abortion within the state. This signifies that even when your mother and father don’t need you to get an abortion, you’ll be able to legally go in opposition to their needs and get one.


Hundreds gathered outdoors the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco on May 3, 2022, in assist of abortion rights after the Supreme Court’s draft opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

If you have got insurance coverage, California requires your suppliers to cowl abortion

The state requires non-public medical insurance, together with Covered California (aka “Obamacare”) plans, to cowl abortions. This doesn’t imply getting an abortion with insurance coverage is all the time free: Providers can cost co-pays and deductibles that may create out-of-pocket prices. According to the California Health Benefits Review Program, the current average out-of-pocket cost of a medication abortion is $306, which jumps to $887 for a procedural abortion.

For individuals with Medi-Cal, state funds are used to cowl the prices of the process to ensure this inhabitants free entry to abortion.

Starting in 2023, abortion and all associated companies in California (like consultations and follow-up care) can be free, because of a regulation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in March 2022.


If you’re uninsured, there are alternatives for locating a free or low-cost abortion

California’s Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women (PE4PW) program gives momentary Medi-Cal protection for outpatient prenatal companies (which might embody pregnancy-related companies that do not want you to remain within the hospital in a single day) for lower-income California residents who’re pregnant.

To entry this program, you will want to go to a certified supplier, or QP (a Medi-Cal supplier who’s enrolled in PE4PW and who gives prenatal care). Find a qualified provider (QP) near you and make contact with them allow them to know you’d wish to be enrolled in PE4PW. If you are eligible for this system, that QP can enroll you on-line.

You may find information about accessing funds for an abortion or abortion-related prices like transportation, lodging and little one care with the National Network of Abortion Funds.

A person bears a very large sign made out of cardboard, which reads:
A lady holds an indication on the steps of the George Deukmejian Courthouse at a rally to defend abortion rights in Long Beach on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram by way of Getty Images)

Help additionally is offered in the event you reside someplace in California with out abortion suppliers

Just as a result of abortion is authorized below California regulation doesn’t suggest it is easy for everybody in California to entry an abortion. Many individuals in California — particularly in rural or lower-income areas — still face barriers to accessing an abortion because of a lack of nearby providers and clinics. In a 2017 study, the Guttmacher Institute reported that some 40% of mostly rural counties in California had zero clinics that provided abortions.

There’s additionally the problem of prohibitive prices — not only for the process, but additionally further journey wanted to succeed in a supplier — and anti-abortion sentiment in some areas. All of this will make it even more durable for individuals in rural communities to search out the abortion they want.

If you are on this place, there are California sources you’ll be able to seek the advice of for sensible and monetary help to search out an abortion, together with:

Nationally, you may also find information about accessing funds for an abortion or abortion-related prices like transportation and lodging from the National Network of Abortion Funds.

What sorts of abortions can be found in California?

What form of abortion you may get — whether or not that is remedy to induce abortion or a surgical process — will depend on how lengthy you’ve got been pregnant.

In the primary trimester (0-13 weeks), the varieties of abortion you’ll be able to entry are:

  • Medication abortion (also called the “abortion pill”)
  • Vacuum aspiration (also called surgical abortion)

In the second trimester (14-26 weeks), the varieties of abortion you’ll be able to entry are:

  • Dilation and evacuation (often below common anesthetic)

An abortion within the third trimester (27-40 weeks) can solely be carried out if the life or well being of the pregnant individual is threatened.

What does this Supreme Court choice imply for different states?

Individual states now have the power to ban any and all abortion procedures.

More than 20 states have laws that could restrict or ban abortion now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe, in line with the Guttmacher Institute, a analysis group that helps abortion rights.

Communities of coloration and queer individuals in these states — particularly transgender individuals — would be especially affected if Roe v. Wade is revoked, advocates say. According to The Associated Press, in conservative states that already limit access to abortions, Black and Latina women have abortions at higher rates than white women. Women of coloration who’ve low incomes might have a more durable time touring out of state for an abortion, the AP mentioned.

What is California planning on doing to assist individuals in search of abortions in locations the place it is now restricted or banned?

California is already making ready to be a haven for abortion entry for individuals elsewhere within the U.S.

Abortion clinics are constructing new services nearer to transit hubs and coaching extra employees. Various payments addressing abortion rights are aiming to increase the variety of suppliers and quantity of monetary help out there to out-of-state sufferers touring to California for an abortion, and to legally shield the medical personnel who deal with them. Read extra about what California is planning on doing to supply abortion entry to individuals denied it of their dwelling states.

What can I do to take motion in assist of abortion entry across the United States?

Read extra about the place to donate in assist of abortion rights, and methods to assist organizations on the bottom, with this information from KQED Arts and Culture.

If you’re planning to attend a protest or a rally in assist of abortion rights, keep in mind we’re nonetheless in a pandemic, and defending your private well being and security is essential whilst you march in assist of the well being of others. Read our information to staying secure throughout a protest, from COVID issues to doable police violence. If you end up in a state of affairs the place you’re feeling compelled to report an encounter with police throughout a protest, we’ve got tips on how to take action safely and ethically.

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