The California governor has initiated advertising campaigns to combat restrictions on traveling for abortions

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Sunday the launch of an advertising campaign to counter proposals in several Republican-led states that seek to restrict out-of-state travel for abortions and other reproductive care.

The campaign, spanning multiple states, along with an online petition, will kick off on Monday with a television commercial focusing on a Tennessee bill currently under consideration. The proposed “abortion trafficking” bill, backed by GOP state lawmakers, would criminalize adults who assist minors in obtaining abortions without parental consent.

Newsom, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” stated that similar restrictions, based on a law already enacted in Idaho, are also being proposed in Oklahoma and Mississippi.

“The conditions are much more pernicious than they even appear,” Newsom remarked. “These guys are not just restricting the rights, self-determination to bear a child for a young woman. But they’re also determining their fate as it relates to their future in life by saying they can’t even travel.”

Supporters of the Tennessee measure argue that it could criminalize not only driving a minor to get an abortion but also providing information about nearby abortion services or informing others about states with more lenient abortion laws.

Republican state Representative Jason Zachary, a co-sponsor of the proposal, has described it as “simply a parental rights bill.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, anti-abortion advocates have urged states to prohibit abortion and prevent pregnant women and girls from traveling across state lines for the procedure. Idaho has already enacted a law known as the “abortion trafficking” law, making it illegal to obtain abortion pills for a minor or help them leave the state for an abortion without parental knowledge and consent.

Newsom, a Democrat considered a potential future presidential candidate, stated that his effort will be funded by a national political action committee he launched last spring with $10 million from his state campaign funds. The initiative, known as the “Campaign for Democracy,” aims to support Joe Biden, other Democrats, and the conservative Republican agenda.

Democrats and left-leaning interest groups view abortion rights as a significant motivator for voters in the upcoming presidential election and the struggle for control of Congress.

They believe that supporting access to abortion can be a winning issue, particularly as the debate expands to include concerns over miscarriage care, medication access, emergency care, and in vitro fertilization treatments. A recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court has raised concerns about future access to IVF.

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