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Proposition 1

October 10, 2022

Proposition 1 would enshrine abortion rights into the California State Constitution.

After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022, the California State Legislature moved quickly to place Proposition 1 on the ballot. Although there is a right to privacy in the California State Constitution that has been historically interpreted to cover the right to choose to have an abortion, that right is not explicitly written into the State Constitution. Proposition 1 would amend the State Constitution to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom, including the right to choose to have an abortion and the right to choose or refuse contraception. 

A YES vote on Proposition 1 means: The California State Constitution would be amended to explicitly mention rights to reproductive freedom, including rights to choose to have an abortion or to use contraception.

A NO vote on Proposition 1 means: The California State Constitution would not be amended to explicitly mention rights to reproductive freedom. 

More information:

  • The California state legislature and governorship are currently controlled by Democrats. However, should that change, the reproductive freedom protections currently in place may be threatened. Enshrining the rights to abortion and contraceptives can ensure that reproductive freedom remains a right in California, regardless of which party is in power. In order to remove such a protection from the State Constitution, Republicans would need to place another measure on the ballot, whether through the legislature or by citizen referendum, and convince California voters to vote for it.
  • The Supremacy Clause of the federal Constitution usually gives federal law precedence over state statutes and constitutions. Although Prop. 1 would probably not be enough to stop a national ban, the courts would first have to strike down the constitutional language.

Top funders of Proposition 1:

  • Yes on Prop 1: The top funders of the ballot measure committee supporting Proposition 1 are Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and M. Quinn Delaney, a wealthy liberal philanthropist and co-founder of the Akonadi Foundation. As of August 1, the Yes on Prop 1 committee has raised $355,112 and spent $79,000 since Jan. 1, 2022. The California Democratic Party has also endorsed Proposition 1. 
  • No on Prop 1: The recently formed No on Proposition 1 committee has raised $134,798 since August 1, and data has yet to be made available on how the committee has spent its funds. In addition, the California Republican Party came out in opposition to the ballot measure. The California Catholic Conference has also come out in opposition to Proposition 1, with the Archbishop of San Francisco stating that “the California bishops have made defeating Prop. 1 our number one priority for this year.”

Misinformation about Prop. 1 includes: 

  • The California Catholic Conference claims that Prop. 1 would “over-ride current law” to allow for “taxpayer-funded” abortion care. Prop. 1 simply makes explicit the current, common interpretation of the California State Constitution that already allows for abortion care and state assistance for those seeking to receive such health care. Also, because these rights already exist in California, the proposition would have no direct fiscal effect, meaning it would not create increased costs to taxpayers.