Newsom signs bill to allow doctors in Arizona to perform abortions in California

Abortion providers in Arizona will now be able to temporarily provide their services to Arizona patients traveling to California after Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed a new law into law on Thursday.

The bill, titled Senate Bill 233, would allow abortion providers in Arizona to be quickly approved to work in California. It was introduced by Newsom last month after the Arizona Supreme Court's near-total abortion ban, which has since been struck down.

Under the new law, licensed Arizona physicians can apply to perform abortions. If they meet certain requirements, California regulators are required to approve their application within five business days.

It passed the California Senate on a 30-8 vote on Tuesday, with the support of the California Legislative Women's Caucus.

“Arizona Republicans tried to turn back the clock to 1864 to impose a near-total abortion ban across their entire state. We refuse to stand by and condone their oppressive and dangerous attacks on women,” Newsom said wrote in a statement Thursday, later adding, “California stands ready to protect reproductive freedom.”

When announcing the bill last month, Newsom called it a “valuable stopgap” even in the event that the Arizona Legislature were to repeal the ban, which it ultimately did.

Arizona is the latest state to face the issue of abortion access after the Supreme Court last month upheld the state's 1864 ban on nearly all abortions except in cases to save the life of the mother. The law also imposed prison sentences on doctors who perform abortions.

The 160-year-old law was never repealed and remained on the books for decades. The Republican Party-appointed Supreme Court ruled 4-2 that the ban could be enforced because Roe v. Wade had been overturned.

The Arizona Legislature approved a repeal of the ban, which was quickly welcomed by Governor Katie Hobbs (D).

Once the repeal takes effect, the state will return to the 15-week ban that was signed into law by former Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in 2022.

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