Sacramento, CA — A controversial California fund designed to help women who seek abortions in more restrictive states topped one billion dollars this past weekend. The California Relocation Fund For Women’s Health was established in 2018, completing a campaign promise by incoming governor Gavin Newsom to put women’s health issues at the top of his agenda.
And since its inception, the program has helped over 42,000 women from states where abortion is either illegal or highly restricted to terminate unwanted pregnancies on California’s dime.
“This is a great day for women’s health and women’s rights,” said Governor Gavin Newsom, speaking on the steps of the State Capitol building. “We want America to know that California is not going to standby and watch the government seize women’s most fundamental right. The message is clear: if you need an abortion, California’s got your back.”
The California Relocation Fund For Women’s Health or the Abortion Relocation Fund, as opponents call it, allocates up to $10,000 for women to travel, stay and terminate their pregnancies in California. Although the program is open to all women outside of California, admission into the program favors people from states with restrictive abortion laws. The law also provides legal defense resources for incarcerated women upon returning to their home state, an issue that came to light during the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade case.
The law, which requires state funding of at least $500 million per year, also allows private citizens to contribute. As of 2020, over 50% of the money has come from outside groups, including the George Soros-backed New America (formerly the New America Foundation), which has contributed over $100 million to date, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Critics Cry Foul
Critics of the fund, which was passed through the legislature along party lines and quickly signed into law by Governor Newsom, say it is akin to the California Department of Relocation’s program to pay for disgruntled conservatives to move to Montana and Idaho.
Kenton Krass of Willits, CA, who is the leader of the Mendocino County Sessisionist movement State of Jefferson Now!, says his group was neutral on the relocation program. However, against using taxpayer money to fund abortions for out-of-state women.
“When the idiots in Sacramento announced they would pay for people to leave the state, many of our members finally thought it was a good use of their taxes,” said Mr. Krass on a Facebook post. “However, people need to remember that abortion is murder. It’s not women’s bodies here. They belong to the state when they’re pregnant. This is another example of looney Newsom trying to fix things that don’t need fixing.”
Applies to Immigrants Too
One of the more controversial parts of the law is providing immigrants, illegal or otherwise, to have abortions. This has split the conservative coalition into two distinct factions: a more religious wing that doesn’t support abortions under any circumstance, let alone state-funded ones, and a more libertarian constituency. The latter supports the law as it might reduce so-called “anchor babies,” or children who are automatically naturalized if they are born in the United States even if their parents are foreign-born.
“It’s a tough call for conservatives like us,” said the president of Californians for Liberty, Dr. Harold P. Mises. “But sometimes you have to work with what you have. As you probably know, many of our members do not support abortion under any circumstances. But we realize that the 14th Amendment allows for unfettered migrant births on human soil. So we’re in favor of reducing that burden on the State, even if it means the murder of babies.”
The California Office of Budget Affairs, or COBA, expects The California Relocation Fund For Women’s Health Fund to double in size over the next 2 years, allowing the state to serve the abortion needs of up to 200,000 women.