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Newsom’s playing cynical games with abortion because has nothing to run on

The Supreme Court might be about to do something.

Or might not.

Neither way would change much in California — but regardless, California’s lawmakers are here to save the day!

Ever since a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion leaked signaling the high court could overturn Roe v. Wade and send the question of a legal right to abortion back to the states, California’s lawmakers have jumped into action.

If the question goes back to the states, the answer is that California has some of the best access to abortion in the country.

Problem solved, right?

The state’s Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed a right to abortion based on the California constitution, but lawmakers are calling for a constitutional amendment anyway.

Are there more pressing matters for lawmakers to worry about? Housing, homelessness, failing K-12 education, crime, inflation, wildfires or drought?

No. As Governor Gavin Newsom put it in a statement: “California will not stand idly by as extremists roll back our basic constitutional rights.”

In other news, a federal judge ruled this week that another one of California’s gun laws was unconstitutional – a law Newsom signed into law.

Anyway, back to abortion.

Newsom this week unveiled a $125 million plan to “Strengthen Protections, Expand Access, and Welcome Businesses from Anti-Abortion States.”

That plan is two-fold.

First, Newsom plans to spend millions to make abortion cheaper and more accessible. Second, he said he hopes to offer tax incentives to lure business from states with more-restrictive abortion to relocate to Califronia.

California is already one of the most abortion-accessible states, so it’s right to wonder whether this additonal funding is necessary, especially as we brace for a possible Supreme Court decision that will not threaten the state’s laws.

The plan to lure businesses with abortion access seems like wishful thinking. A company would have to see the trade off as worth it to get access to low-cost abortions in exchange for their employees not being able to find housing in California and getting effective pay cuts upon relocation because of higher taxes and costs of living, while the company subjects itself to a regulatory environment where the state penalizes success and over-regulates every element of business operations.

Newsom is also hoping his new funding proposals will make it easier for women to come from out of state to get abortions.

“We’re going to fight like hell, making sure that all women — not just those in California — know that this state continues to recognize and protect their fundamental rights,” Newsom said in a statement.

Aren’t there plenty of Californians in need whom we could spend the money on instead? People suffering under crises of housing, homelessness, failing K-12 education, crime, inflation, wildfires or drought?

No. The state has a budget surplus, which means money to burn. And $125 million is a pittance in terms of what he’s promising to accomplish, which shows it’s not really about anything but burning money to prove a point — a point that’s already been proven.

In other news: New analysis shows California is racing towards a “fiscal cliff” we’re set to fall off in 2026.

California has enjoyed billions of dollars in temporary COVID relief funding from the feds, but bean counters at the Volcker Alliance are worried the state is living beyond its means.

“But rather than spending that money on projects like water and sewer systems, broadband, infrastructure or repayment of federal loans to state unemployment trust funds, as recommended by the Volcker Alliance, California has committed much of it to recurring expenditures which will likely outlive the funding behind them,” the Sacramento Bee writes.

Back to abortion. It’s undeniably good politics for Newsom and others to focus on abortion. Californians overwhelmingly support the right to choose.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 76% of California voters don’t want Roe overturned, including 51% of Republicans.

Not good numbers for the pro-lifers. But that’s the point.

Forcing a bunch of vulnerable Republicans to vote on abortion funding and a right-to-abortion Constitutional amendment would be disastrous for their prospects at staying in office or knocking off incumbent Democrats, just as the midterms were beginning to swell into red wave.

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