The California State Legislature passed a bill Tuesday that would protect women from legal penalties for inducing their own abortions, and which includes controversial language on “perinatal” death.

The bill, AB 2223, introduced by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), is just one of several measures expanding abortion that the legislature has considered as the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed Roe v. Wade. Voters will consider a constitutional amendment this November that would protect abortion through birth.

AB 2223 provides that “a person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty” due to self-induced abortion. It would also protect those who “aid or assist a woman or pregnant person who is exercising their reproductive rights”; prevent county coroners from holding inquests for deaths “related to or following known or suspected self-induced or criminal abortion”; and allow plaintiffs to sue “an offending state actor” for violating reproductive rights, and to recover attorneys’ fees in the process as well.

The language of the bill uses the term “perinatal” — a term meaning the weeks both before and after birth — leading critics to claim that it would authorize infanticide. However, proponents of the bill argue that the accusation is false. The term’s full context in the bill is “perinatal death due to causes that occurred in utero,” meaning that while a death from abortion might occur after physical birth, the death would have to be caused by self-induced actions prior to birth itself to be eligible for protection under the statute.

Pro-life groups are opposing the bill, which has yet to be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The California Family Council accuses legislators of “decriminalizing back-alley abortions,” and protecting anyone who aids a woman in obtaining an unlawful abortion, which it alleges will make women more unsafe, not less.

The bill also uses the term “pregnant person” throughout the text, a nod to the transgender movement, which asserts that men — i.e. biological women who identify as men — can also become pregnant.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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