Flanked by more than a dozen Planned Parenthood supporters, the governor delivered his remarks at one of the organization's facilities in South Los Angeles. In nearby downtown L.A. on Tuesday night, police and more than 200 abortion-rights supporters squared off on the streets in a confrontation that left one officer injured.
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Already home to some of the most expansive abortion protections in the country, California lawmakers vowed to go further on Tuesday by becoming one of the first to guarantee a right to an abortion in a state constitution.
California already uses taxpayer money to pay for some abortions through its Medicaid program. And it requires private insurance companies to cover abortions while stopping them from charging things like co-pays and deductibles for the procedure.
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After Newsom tweeted that "our daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers will not be silenced," Republican state Sen. Melissa Melendez replied that Newsom "doesn't understand that aborting would-be daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers silences them before they ever have a chance to speak a word."
Newsom's office said its goal is to put the amendment on the ballot this November, though lawmakers will have to act quickly to make that happen. They have to vote on it before the end of June to give state officials enough time to print the ballots.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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