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More Than Two-Thirds of California Voters Support Abortion Rights

Even as Republicans make inroads in their efforts to recall California's pro-women's rights, pro-abortion rights governor, more than two-thirds of California voters continue to support abortion rights, according to findings from a Field Poll. In addition, more than two-thirds of California voters favor no changes to existing abortion laws, the San Jose Mercury News reports. "It just demonstrates again that California voters are pretty much in the pro-choice camp," Mark DiCamillo, who conducted the survey, told the Stockton Record.

With a recall vote on California Governor Gray Davis scheduled for October, Democrats and pro-choice activists are busy mobilizing this majority of abortion rights supporters to support Davis. "On a woman's right to choose, the environment, gun safety - you name it, the governor is there for us," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said at a pro-Davis rally in San Francisco, as reported by Women's E-News. Led by House Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) who himself opposes abortion rights, this recall effort is a veiled attempt to roll back the clock on women's rights. "These people are against women's rights, gay rights and environmental protection. This isn't about one man. It's about partisan politics," said Art Pulaski, head of the California Labor Federation, according to Women's E-News.

California has long led the nation in its support for abortion rights - abortions were legal in California five years before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal nationwide in 1973. Currently, California is among the nation's most lenient states in terms of abortion restrictions, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. California does not require parental permission for minors and does not restrict late-term abortions.

The Field Poll - which involved 490 registered voters who were questioned between July 1 and July 13 - found that voters between the ages of 18-39 were more likely to favor keeping abortion access as it is and the least likely to favor easing access to abortion. Meanwhile, a poll conducted in early 2003 by the Peter Harris Research Group for Ms. Magazine found that women between the ages of 18-29 ranked highest in terms of favoring a woman's right to choose.

"They are greatly pro-choice, but they also are unaware of how great a threat the right to choose faces under the Bush administration," Jennifer Webber, of the California Abortion and Reproductive Rights League, said of California's younger generation, according to the Chronicle.

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Media Resources: San Francisco Chronicle 7/30/03; San Jose Mercury News 7/31/03; Stockton Record 7/30/03; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 7/31/03; Women's E-News 8/1/03; Ms. Magazine Spring 2003

© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

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