California Governor signs executive order on protecting women seeking abortion


California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Monday to further protect women coming to California from other states. In November, California voters will have an opportunity to amend the state’s constitution to include the right to an abortion, Governor Newsom said.

“California will not back down from the fight to protect abortion rights as more than half the states in this country, enabled by the Supreme Court, ban or severely restrict access,” said Governor Newsom. “We are ensuring Californians will have the opportunity this November to enshrine the right to choose in our state constitution. And we’re not waiting until November to take action, today’s executive order ensures that the state will not hand over patients who come here to receive care and will not extradite doctors who provide care to out-of-state patients here. In California, women will remain protected.”

The order signed today prevents any information, including medical records and patient data, from being shared by state agencies or departments in response to inquiries or investigations brought by other states or individuals within those states looking to restrict access. A media release from Newsom’s office said that “the state is expanding efforts to protect women seeking abortions or reproductive care as well as anyone assisting those women.”

Newsom’s executive order said:
All agencies and departments subject to my authority, including all employees, appointees, officers, or other persons acting in their official capacity, are prohibited from providing any information, including patient medical records, patient-level data, or related billing information, or expending or using any state time, money, facilities, property, equipment, personnel, or other state resources in furtherance of any inquiry, investigation, or proceeding initiated in or by another state that seeks to impose civil, criminal, or professional liability upon a person or entity for:
a. Providing, securing, receiving, or in any way supporting reproductive health care services legally performed or provided in California; or
b. Any form of assistance or support given to any person or entity that relates to providing, securing, receiving, or in any way supporting reproductive health care legally performed or provided in California.

The media release added, “Within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last Friday, Governor Newsom signed legislation to help protect patients and providers in California from civil liability for providing, aiding, or receiving abortion care in the state. In addition, Governor Newsom and the governors of Oregon and Washington launched a new Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care and protect patients and providers.”

The budget agreement announced on Sunday includes more than $200 million in additional funding for reproductive health care services. Governor Newsom recently signed legislation eliminating co-pays for abortion care services and has signed into law a legislative package to further strengthen access and protect patients and providers.