Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis Statement on U.S Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Image of the California State seal and text: Eleni Kounalakis Lieutenant Governor

Friday, June 24, 2022


Sacramento, CA – Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization:


“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is both horrifying and heartbreaking. The right to abortion has been guaranteed in our country for almost half a century and today millions of women across our nation have had that right ripped away.


“I am very aware that my own ability to have a successful business career, to serve our country oversees as a U.S. Ambassador, and become the first woman elected Lt. Governor of California have been a result of being able to make my own decisions about if, and when, I wanted to have children. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court took away that decision for millions of women across our country, allowing their government to decide for them.


“Despite today’s horrific decision, California has been preparing to meet this moment and ensure that both Californians and those who come here from other states to seek abortion care can continue to do so. I am proud to co-sponsor SCA 10 which will enshrine the right to abortion into our state constitution – a more urgent effort than ever before. With 14 bills moving through the legislature to protect and expand the right to abortion as well as the Governor’s historic proposed budget investments, our state will continue to do everything possible to protect this fundamental right.


“California will never back down from this fight.”


According to the Guttmacher Institute, California is estimated to see a nearly 3,000% increase in the number of out-of-state women who seek care here. To address this projected demand and impact on California, the Future of Abortion Council is moving 14 pieces of legislation seeking to proactively protect and expand access to abortion through the legislature. These bills seek to address barriers to access including costs and access to key information, civil and criminal protections for patients and providers, investments in and expansion of the workforce. The package also includes SCA 10, an amendment to the California State Constitution enshrining the right to abortion and contraceptive care.


Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis is a proud co-sponsor of SCA 10, joining Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, NARAL Pro-Choice California, ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Essential Access Health, and the National Health Law Program.


If approved by the state Senate and Assembly with two-thirds approval in each house by the June 30 deadline, SCA 10 will place a measure on the November 2022 ballot allowing California voters to enshrine the right to abortion and right to choose or refuse contraceptives into the state constitution.


Governor Newsom’s proposed budget also includes $125 million to further bolster California’s health care infrastructure, expand access to services for patients, and help prepare for the influx of people seeking reproductive health care from other states.


Eleni Kounalakis is the 50th lieutenant governor of California and the first woman elected to the position. From 2010 to 2013, Kounalakis served as President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom designated Kounalakis as his Representative for International Affairs and Trade Development, and as Chair of the corresponding Interagency Committee that oversees the state’s trade, investment and international relations. Kounalakis is also alternating Chair of the three-member State Lands Commission, and a voting member of the University of California Board of Regents, the California State University Board of Trustees, and the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.