Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Fact Sheet: Abortion in California Under Gavin Newsom

November 30, 2023

California's extreme abortion laws violate religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

  • California taxpayers are forced to fund abortions through Medi-Cal and other programs, including abortion tourism for out-of-state residents and undocumented immigrants.
  • California taxpayers subsidize the abortion pills that are handed out free of charge to students at all public universities in the state. How is it "freedom" to force Catholics or anyone who opposes abortion, to pay for abortions with their tax dollars?
  • Riots, arson and looting are not prosecuted in California, and the open air drug trade is normalized. But two pro-life activists were arrested for peacefully protesting against abortion in San Francisco earlier this year.

Statistics on abortion in California

Note about data: Although almost every other state tracks abortion information, California is one of three states that does not. The California Department of Public Health has not kept track of any abortion data since 1997. However, independent groups do surveys of clinics to estimate the number of abortions per year in California.

  • In 2020, most elective medical procedures (and even necessary appointments like cancer screenings) were banned because of COVID lockdowns – yet there were over 150,000 abortions in California.
  • More than 100,000 – two thirds of abortions – were taxpayer-funded, through Medi-Cal. It is not known what percentage was "abortion tourism" from other states or illegal immigrants.
  • If national statistics hold true in California:
    • 6% of those abortions took place between 14-20 weeks. 20 weeks is almost 5 months pregnant. The baby is well developed by that point and can feel pain.
    • An estimated 9,000-10,000 babies are aborted in the second trimester in California.
    • According to the National Abortion Federation, the most common reasons for a second-trimester abortion include a delay in recognizing or admitting pregnancy, difficulty obtaining funds for an abortion, indecision over what to do, or changed circumstances. Circumstantial changes may include situations like the baby's parents breaking up, or finding out that the baby is a girl when they wanted a boy (sex-selective abortion).
    • Stories of women terminating a wanted pregnancy in the 2nd trimester due to a fatal abnormality or serious risk to maternal health, are the rare exceptions that make up a small minority of 2nd trimester abortions (and these exceptions are allowed under Florida law).
    • 1% of those abortions took place after the point of viability. That means over 1,500 babies in one year in California alone were killed in the third trimester of pregnancy, in barbaric procedures like D&E, where the baby is torn limb from limb. They are capable of feeling pain by that point, just like a newborn would. If you can justify this, you can also justify infanticide.
    • 93% of all abortions are elective, meaning that there is no medically necessary reason.
      • According to a Guttmacher survey of women who had abortions, 3% reported fetal abnormalities and another 4% reported that their pregnancy was a threat to their physical health or life.
      • The survey found that 0.5% of women sought an abortion due to rape.
      • The vast majority of women surveyed (90%+) said that they sought abortions due to financial struggles, career or education, not wanting to be a single mom, and not being ready for a child.
    • 96% of all abortions after the first trimester are performed by dilation and evacuation (D&E). In this procedure, the doctor inserts forceps through the dilated cervix to decapitate and dismember the baby, then remove its body in parts.
      • The National Abortion Federation advises abortionists: "During the procedure, try to identify and keep track of fetal parts as they are removed. A surgical pan at the edge of the gable to catch fetal parts can assist this process."
      • A doctor who helped create the D&E technique said: "The [skull] is about the size of a Ping-Pong ball and usually can be grasped readily with the Bierer. Collapsing it gives a definite sensation... Grasping and collapsing the [skull is] often difficult. Stripping the [skull] of soft tissue is sometimes the first step in successful delivery of this part, followed by dislocation of parietal bones.... A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus."
      • After the abortion, fetal parts must be examined "to verify complete evacuation." The abortionist often measures the baby's foot to estimate how many weeks old it was.

Gavin Newsom's Radical Pro-Abortion Record

  • Gavin Newsom is promoting abortion at the expense of real healthcare, including care for mothers and newborns. The state providing financial incentives to abort a child and imposing financial penalties to have a child, is the opposite of a culture of life. But that's the reality in Newsom's California.
    • Though California taxpayers already subsidized most abortions via Medi-Cal, Newsom signed a new law banning private insurance from charging any co-pays or deductibles for elective abortions. Newsom justified this by calling abortion "basic health care," but apparently he does not consider it "basic health care" when a pregnant woman goes to the hospital to deliver her baby.
    • In Newsom's California, anyone seeking abortion can get one free of charge – but it costs about $16,000-$20,000 for a woman to give birth. The cost of giving birth in California is about 25% higher than the national average. (NOTE: Florida is slightly below the national median cost.)
    • As Life Legal Defense Foundation wrote, Newsom signed "a law to help only those women who wanted abortions, not those who wanted to keep their children."
    • Newsom went a step further and introduced a plan to pay for medical students to become abortionists; their student loans will be paid off, or they will receive scholarship money if they promise to perform abortions. Medical students who want to save the lives of cancer patients or trauma victims do not get such support; only those who want to do abortions get preferential treatment from the state.
    • Newsom signed a bill requiring all 11 University of California campuses and 23 California State University campuses to perform chemical abortions at on-campus health centers. These are public universities funded by California taxpayers, so it's yet another example of Newsom trampling on freedom of conscience by forcing all Californians to pay for abortions.
  • In California, a child can get an abortion without parental notification. This policy harms families while enabling child rapists and sex traffickers – and Newsom has made it easier than ever, by marketing California as an abortion "sanctuary state" even for minors.
    • Newsom signed a bill that ensured that a minor could get an abortion, using their parents' insurance plan, without needing approval from the insurance policy holder — their parents — first. The law also prevents information about the abortion from being shared with parents.
    • Under Newsom, the state of California rolled out a new abortion website, which specifically targeted minors with a section telling out-of-state minors how to get an abortion in California without their parents' permission. A 14-year-old from Iowa could travel to California and get a taxpayer-funded abortion without her parents' knowledge or consent.
    • A shocking 40% of girls under 18 who had abortions reported that their parents did not know.
  • While businesses are fleeing California, Newsom's budget priority is to build up the abortion industry in his state.
    • Newsom spent tax dollars to promote abortion tourism, posting billboards in seven pro-life states encouraging women to come to California for an abortion.
    • Newsom has ignored the rising violence and attacks against pro-life offices and pregnancy centers, as well as the overall crime crisis in California, and budgeted $20 million towards increased security for abortion facilities … while starting a "reproductive task force" dedicated to prosecuting pro-lifers for supposed "intimidation" or "harassment."
    • Newsom's budget also allocates $20 million to abortion tourism to cover expenses for women from out-of-state to travel to California to abort their babies.
  • Newsom signed legislation that essentially allowed infanticide.
    • A bill Newsom signed in 2022, which protects parents from prosecution if their baby is stillborn, stated: Notwithstanding any other law, a person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty, or otherwise deprived of their rights under this article, based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcome, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause.
    • By failing to define what is meant by "perinatal death" or "pregnancy-related cause," abortion survivors, preterm babies, or babies with health complications could be left to die. The perinatal period is defined differently by different medical groups; it can be extended for as long as 24 months after the child's birth, but is most often considered to be up to 28 days following the child's birth.
    • A separate piece of legislation, which Newsom also signed, eliminated the requirement for a coroner to investigate deaths related to criminal abortions. AB 2223 received pushback because the specific wording and nature of the bill would make it almost impossible for law enforcement to investigate any suspicious newborn deaths.
    • "The bill potentially de-regulates abortion and overrides existing medical protections for women by creating a class of cooperating individuals unaccountable to state licensing agencies or regulations," wrote the Right to Life League. "AB 2223 will chill proper investigations of abortion cooperators (not just the pregnant person) by granting penalties, including attorney's fees against anyone who even threatens an investigation including law enforcement, medical professionals and mandated reporters."

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Fact Sheet: Abortion in California Under Gavin Newsom Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/370904

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