Pro-Life Attorney Warns of California's 'Abortion Apocalypse' in Wave of New Legislation

Concerned that 'reproductive freedom' will override protection of children

Pro-Life Attorney Warns of California's 'Abortion Apocalypse' in Wave of New Legislation
Pro-life demonstrators gather at the California state capital building in Sacramento on April 19, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Patricia Tolson
According to Susan Swift Arnall, vice president of legal affairs for Right to Life League, an avalanche of new legislation in California will put into motion what she calls an "abortion apocalypse" that will be fully funded by the taxpayers.

New California Abortion Laws

The bills listed below were signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 27, 2022:

  • AB 1375: Reduces doctor oversight and standardized procedures for abortions.
  • AB 657: Fast-tracks abortion licenses for health care officials coming to California to provide abortions.
  • SB 1245: Funds abortion access in Los Angeles County.
  • AB 2626: Prohibits specified medical licensing boards from suspending or revoking a license from a provider for performing an abortion if the abortion was in accordance with the Medical Practice Act and the Reproductive Privacy Act.
  • AB 1918: Establishes the California Reproductive Health Service Corps, which will provide education and training to newly recruited abortion and reproductive health care workers in exchange for a three-year commitment by the trainees to work for the state to provide abortions and other reproductive services in "underserved areas."
  • AB 2586: Awards funding grants to community organizations for comprehensive reproductive and sexual education, including information about abortion access.
  • AB 2091: Prohibits health care providers from sharing medical information regarding an out-of-state individual, even minors without the knowledge or consent of their parents, seeking an abortion in California.
  • AB 2134: Establishes the California Reproductive Health Equity Program, which provides grants to providers to cover the cost of abortion procedures and contraception for low-income clients.
  • SB 523: Expands birth control access regardless of insurance status by requiring health plans to cover certain over-the-counter birth control without cost sharing. It also prohibits employment discrimination based on reproductive health decisions by making "reproductive health decision making” a new civil rights category.
  • AB 2223: Blocks investigation of fetal death and shields anyone who aids in the death of a baby.
  • AB 1242: Prohibits California law enforcement and corporations from “cooperating with out-of-state entities regarding a lawful abortion in California” and prohibits law enforcement from arresting anyone having a lawful abortion in California.
  • SB 1142: Requires the establishment of an abortion care services website and an evaluation of the Abortion Practical Support Fund, which provides funding for travel, lodging, lost wages, and even child care for anyone who travels to California for an abortion.

Legislation Signed Into Law by Newsom:

  • AB 1666 and AB 1242: Forbid California from complying with other states’ valid court decisions, subpoenas, and orders that concern abortion.

Legislation Awaiting Newsom's Signature:

  • AB 2091: Prohibits a person from being compelled to provide testimony about another person who sought or obtained an abortion.
  • AB 2320: Subsidizes a pilot program to increase abortion access in rural counties.
  • AB 1940: Enables school-based health centers to provide "reproductive health services" to students.
  • SB 1131: Provides legal confidentiality protection to workers involved in abortion and other reproductive services.
  • SB 1400: Increases the minimum damages reward to $25,000 in civil suits brought by abortion workers whose names, addresses, or other personal information are posted online for the purpose of inciting harassment.
Then there's Proposition 1, which would define "reproductive freedom" as a constitutional right. Because it would require an amendment to the state's constitution, California's voters, not the Legislature, will decide the fate of this measure on Nov. 8, 2022.

'Reproductive Freedom' Undefined

"The concern that the Right to Life League has about Prop 1 centers on the undefined, extremely broad term, 'reproductive freedom,'" Arnall told The Epoch Times. "These are powerful legal words. When you say 'the state shall,' or 'the state shall not,' that's on the same level as the Ten Commandments; 'Thou shalt not commit murder.' When the state says 'it shall not deny or interfere with an individual's reproductive freedom,' I really don't know what that means because 'reproductive freedom' is not defined."

Moreover, Arnall said there is equal ambiguity regarding the state's meaning of the words "interfere with" and "deny," which opens the door to many things, including forcing California taxpayers to fund procedures never considered to be "a right" before. For example, if someone wants to have a gender change operation or an artificial womb implanted at taxpayer's expense, it would be possible under the litany of new abortion laws.

Right to Life League President Theresa Brennan (L) and Vice President Susan Arnall march with the Right to Life League banner during the California March for Life event in August 2021. (Courtesy of Susan Arnall)
Right to Life League President Theresa Brennan (L) and Vice President Susan Arnall march with the Right to Life League banner during the California March for Life event in August 2021. (Courtesy of Susan Arnall)

"The main point is, I have not seen this in the media," Arnall added, lamenting how quietly this litany of legislation is becoming law and how little of it is being explained to the public.

According to Arnall, the mention of abortion and "reproductive freedom" in the the new legislation includes a fundamental right to choose to have an abortion or a fundamental right to choose or refuse contraception.

"Abortion and contraception are included in reproductive freedom," Arnall explained, "but we already know by reading the language that reproductive freedom means much more than just abortion and contraception because it says 'including.' If there's misinformation out there I think it's on the pro-Proposition 1 side, because they're saying it will protect the rights of women to get abortions in the state."

Abortion: 'Fundamental' to 'Constitutional' Right

According to Arnall, the right of a woman to have an abortion in California is already protected by statute and by California Supreme Court rulings. The Supreme Court of California has already ruled that abortion is a fundamental right.

"I'm not sure what Proposition 1 adds to that, except that it has this very sweeping, broad language that says, 'reproductive freedom,'" Arnall said. "My concern is that 'reproductive freedom,' as a fundamental, constitutional right will override existing laws that protect public health, specifically children."

As Arnall explained, many of the existing laws that are designed to protect public health could be deemed as a form of state interference with the passage of Proposition 1, like laws against polygamy and laws against children having sex with adults.

"Those laws go out the window because you're interfering with someone's reproductive freedom who, at the age of 13, might decide they want to sleep with a 30-year-old," Arnall posited. "Who is the state to deny their reproductive freedom? Why can't they have multiple spouses or have sex with animals? All of that can be defined as 'reproductive freedom.'"

Going further, Arnall suggested that Proposition 1 would enable women, and even female children, to sell their eggs and rent their wombs to private companies for profit, and the state would not be allowed to "interfere" in that process. They could even provide children and women with drugs that would produce hyperovulation, and the state would not be allowed to "interfere with" their "reproductive freedom."

Opening the CRISPR Technology Door

While it may seem far-fetched, Arnall insists California's abundance of ambiguous abortion laws could open the door to dangerous and unethical experimental tampering with human DNA.
"It could even go so far as to permit embryonic experiments with CRISPR technology, which is a finely tuned method of using laser technology to edit human genomes," Arnall suggested.
In 2018, Chinese researcher He Jiankui claimed that he used CRISPR technology to create the world’s first genetically edited twin girls. A U.S. scientist claimed to have taken part in the work in China. However, gene editing such as this is banned in the United States because the artificially forced DNA changes could be harmful to other genes, which would be passed on to future generations. Shortly after his announcement, Jiankui went missing. Reports surfaced in April 2022 that Jiankui had just been released from jail. He had been arrested and thrown in jail because his work "crossed the bottom line of ethics in scientific research." The report noted that a third child was born of the experiment.

"That technology enhances 'reproductive freedom,' does it not?" Arnall asserted, adding that the legislation could extend to lowering licensing requirements for abortion clinics.

"If someone wants to become an abortion doula, who is not licensed by the state, why does the state have the right to 'interfere with' my 'reproductive freedom' in who I choose to perform my abortion?" Arnall posited.

The Abortion Apocalypse

While most of these bills have already become law, a plethora of other measures are following quickly behind. The deluge, Arnall insists, is intentional. It's meant to flood the state with so many measures that no one can keep up or understand what's happening.

"They have so many bills," she said. "That's why I call what's coming the Abortion Apocalypse."

Susan Arnall, vice president of legal affairs at the Right to Life League, stands across the street from the California state capital in June 2022. (Courtesy of Susan Arnall)
Susan Arnall, vice president of legal affairs at the Right to Life League, stands across the street from the California state capital in June 2022. (Courtesy of Susan Arnall)

"One bill reduces doctor oversight and standardized procedures for abortions," she explained, saying there are usually policies and procedures in place that nurses, practitioners, and abortionists have to practice. "But what they're going to do is lower doctor oversight for nurses. It's going to lower the standard of care and make it easier for nurses and physician assistants performing abortions to do them without the direct oversight of a doctor."

Another dangerous door Arnall believes these laws open is the ability to fast-track abortion licenses. Not just for obstetricians, but for just about anyone who wants to practice abortion.

"They want to build more abortionists," Arnall warned. "When you're rushing someone toward a medical license, that lowers the quality of care."

Arnall also noted how California is also attempting to forbid compliance with state pro-life court decisions, subpoenas, and other lawful court orders with AB 1242.
"It's a slap at the Texas Heartbeat bill," she suggested. "What these California laws will attempt to do is say, 'We are not going to comply with other states' valid court decisions, subpoenas, or court orders that concern abortion.' All of these violate the full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution. They just do."

It's All 'Virtue Signaling'

According to Legal Match, "the Full Faith and Credit Clause is an integral part of the U.S. Constitution. Found in Article IV, Section 1, the clause requires that all states’ decisions, public records, and rulings be honored in all the other U.S. states" and that "each U.S. court must give 'full faith' and 'credit' to the decisions rendered by other courts. Without the Full Faith and Credit Clause, conflicts might arise between states, and the legal system would be entangled in various overlapping rulings." But, according to Arnall, none of that matters in California.

"For California, this is a matter of virtue signaling," she asserted, suggesting that eventually, all of California's recent abortion bills will be struck down in federal court.

"It's like gay marriage," she said. "Some states allow for gay marriage and it's very clear now that when you have a contract between two people in marriage in one state it has to be recognized in all of the others states. That's the whole point of the Full Faith and Credit Clause. What California is doing is turning that around. They will marry gay people in California and then you have to recognize the valid contract between two men or two women in Wyoming or any other state that doesn't have gay marriage on the books. Well, California is actually going to refuse to recognize valid court decisions of rulings, like in Texas, where you can't perform an abortion after six or eight weeks after you detect a fetal heartbeat. So when an abortionist performs an abortion and is sued under the Texas Heartbeat Act."

'AB 2223 Is the True Danger'

As Arnall explains, AB 2223 and Proposition 1, the California Abortion Amendment, share the same broad pro-abortion language. However, she says Proposition 1 "is essentially virtue signaling," as it will merely reiterate laws already on the books rather than expanding the state's existing abortion laws.
Theresa Brennan, president of the Right to Life League, speaks through a bull horn in front of the Supreme Court to defend the draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which was leaked in May 2022. (Courtesy of Susan Arnall)
Theresa Brennan, president of the Right to Life League, speaks through a bull horn in front of the Supreme Court to defend the draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which was leaked in May 2022. (Courtesy of Susan Arnall)
"That is why AB 2223 is the true danger," Arnall said. "AB 2223 will eliminate California's current Roe v. Wade era restrictions on abortion, creating an unlimited right to abortion for all nine months of pregnancy, including after the live birth of a baby. It does this with the language 'perinatal death due to causes that occurred in utero.' This phrase is vague and totally undefined."
Existing California law defines the term “perinatal” to mean “the period from the establishment of pregnancy to one month following delivery.”
According to Arnall, California's Health and Safety Code already states that a baby born alive after a failed abortion needs to be provided the same care as another infant of a similar age, and the code also maintains protections against fetal homicide. However, she contends "AB 2223 will prevent any investigation into the cause of a baby’s death, erasing justice for the unwanted baby born alive."

"Worse," Arnall says, "AB 2223 will make any investigation into a baby’s death actionable, effectively legalizing infanticide and incentivizing litigation by a radical pro-abortion plaintiff's bar by setting cause of action for a minimum of $25,000 plus costs of litigation and attorneys' fees provision. The pregnant mother, and anyone who helps her—not just abortion doctors or clinicians, but anyone who aids or assists her—will enjoy a separate, private legal cause of action against anyone who asks questions about a baby’s death during the first 28 days of life."

Recent reports by both Fox News and Live Action illustrate exactly what will be beyond the reach of California investigators once AB 2223 is law. In April, a 41-year-old Nebraska mother bought abortion pills for her then 17-year-old pregnant daughter. The daughter took the pills, then gave birth to a viable 24-week-old baby boy. After his birth, the mother and daughter stuffed the baby into a plastic bag, tried to burn the “evidence,” and then buried the baby’s burned, dead body.
Patricia Tolson, an award-winning national investigative reporter with 20 years of experience, has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo!, U.S. News, and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigative coverage of human interest stories, election policies, education, school boards, and parental rights has achieved international exposure. Send her your story ideas: