When California’s GOP Gov. Brown signs bill to ban abortions at 19 weeks
— California’s Republican Gov.
Jerry Brown has signed a bill banning abortions at 20 weeks after birth.
The new law, which takes effect Sept. 1, would prohibit abortions up to 19 weeks if the fetus is viable.
The bill is in response to a rash of fetal pain cases that have surfaced across the state, and to pressure from anti-abortion groups, who are hoping to make it harder for women to access abortion.
Brown signed the bill Thursday, the day before he was scheduled to make a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“California has already been working hard to reduce the number of abortions in our state,” Brown said in a statement Thursday.
“Today’s action is a first step in making that happen.
It’s a step in a long-term, nationwide effort to end the illegal sale and distribution of fetal tissue.
It will also help save lives, which is why we’ve worked so hard to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society can access safe, legal abortion.”
The bill also makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly sell fetal tissue, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The California Senate passed the bill by a vote of 13-6 in June.
California Democrats have been critical of Brown’s decision to sign the bill into law, with the party’s political action committee accusing the governor of “playing politics with the lives of women and babies.”
The bill would make it illegal to “procure, possess, transport, sell, transfer, transport to another person or place, or use” fetal tissue to perform abortions, according to the bill.
It also requires medical providers to report any instances of fetal donation to the state’s fetal tissue procurement program, which must report any fetal tissue sold by a patient to the California Department of Public Health and Human Services.
A federal judge struck down the California ban in February, ruling that the law did not have enough teeth to protect fetuses from being used for abortions.
The court also said it would not enforce the law against hospitals or doctors who perform abortions but did not perform the procedures themselves.