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California

State Constitutional Protection

The California Constitution protects the right to choose as a fundamental right and to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution.  The California Supreme Court struck down under the state's constitutional right to privacy, a law limiting state medical assistance for abortion in cases of life endangerment, severe physical health damage, fetal deformity, rape, incest, or unlawful sex with a minor.  Committee to Defend Reprod. Rights v. Myers, 625 P.2d 779 (Cal. 1981).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980).

The state supreme court also struck down a law requiring either parental consent or a judicial waiver before a minor could obtain abortion care.  American Acad. of Pediatrics v. Lungren, 940 P.2d 797 (Cal. 1997).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Planned Parenthood Ass'n of Kansas City v. Ashcroft, 462 U.S. 476 (1983).


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