State should extend abortion access: Q&A with gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown came out strongly in support of women’s abortion rights last weekend, saying he planned on pushing budget reforms to aid access for low-income women if elected governor in November. 

“Even though the federal government cut off funding for allowing choice for women of low income, we’d preserve that. First we’d preserve it through executive order, through court decision, and ultimately the Legislature itself,” said Brown, the state attorney general, in an interview at a pro-choice forum in San Francisco Saturday hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America. 

“Congress still does not believe fully in the right to choice, and therefore they deny hundreds of thousands of women the right to an abortion under Medi-Cal,” he added. 

Brown’s support comes as President Obama says he wanted the Supreme Court Justice who replaces John Paul Stevens this year to take into account individual women’s rights. 

“I don’t have litmus around any of these issues,” he said Wednesday to a gathering of reporters in the Oval Office, “but I will say that I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights and that includes women’s rights and that is going to be something that is very important to me.” 

Also at the NARAL forum was San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who is running for attorney general in November. The event was supposed to be a candidates’ forum, but no Republican hopefuls showed up. So the floor was wide open for Brown.

“At the end of the day, the right of each woman to decide for herself what her future is,” Brown said. “Is she going to be a mother or not? That’s something so fundamental to the concept of liberty.”

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CORRECTION 4/25/10: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story mistook the order of comments made by Brown and Obama. Brown spoke first, then Obama.