Newsom signs bill to let Arizona doctors provide abortions in California  

May 24, 2024

Arizona abortion providers will now be able to temporarily provide their services to patients from Arizona who travel to California, after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a new law on Thursday.

The bill, titled Senate Bill 233, allows Arizona abortion providers to be quickly approved for work in California. It was introduced by Newsom last month after the Arizona Supreme Court’s near-total abortion ban, which has since been repealed.

Under the new law, licensed Arizona doctors can fill out an application to perform abortions and, if they meet certain requirements, California regulators are obliged to approve their application within five business days.

It passed in California’s state Senate in a 30-8 vote on Tuesday, with the backing of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.

“Arizona Republicans tried to turn back the clock to 1864 to impose a near-total abortion ban across their state. We refuse to stand by and acquiesce to their oppressive and dangerous attacks on women,” Newsom wrote in a statement Thursday, adding later, “California stands ready to protect reproductive freedom.”

When announcing the bill last month, Newsom called it a “valuable stopgap” even in the case that Arizona’s Legislature repealed the ban, which eventually happened.

Arizona is the latest state to be faced with the question of abortion access after the state Supreme Court last month upheld the 1864 ban on nearly all abortions in the state, except in instances to save the life of the mother. The law also imposed jail time for physicians who perform abortions.

The 160-year-old law was never repealed and remained on the books for decades. The GOP-appointed state Supreme Court ruled 4-2 that the ban could be enforced because Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Arizona’s legislature passed a repeal of the ban, which was quickly singed by Gov. Katie Hobbs (D).

Once the repeal goes into effect, the state will revert back to the 15-week ban signed into law by former Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in 2022.