Newsom: Democrats need ‘counter-offensive’ in culture wars

May 4, 2022, 1:38 PM | Updated: 2:08 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom faulted his own political party Wednesday for setbacks in the nation’s culture wars and urged Democrats to launch a vocal “counter-offensive” to protect rights from abortion to same-sex marriage.

At an appearance at a Planned Parenthood office near downtown Los Angeles, Newsom warned that the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority could unravel decades of court rulings that could redefine what it means to live in America. He said the Democratic Party has been too passive in response, and urged a “counter-offensive” to protect what he called fundamental rights.

Earlier this week, a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion suggested the court’s conservative majority is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

“This Supreme Court is poised to roll back constitutionally protected rights and don’t think for a second — don’t think for a second — this is where they stop,” Newsom said.

“They are coming after you,” he added. “You think for a second same-sex marriage is safe in the United States?” he asked. “If privacy is not constitutionally protected, this opens up panoply of issues.”

With much at stake, the liberal governor who is seeking a second term this year railed against Democrats, saying they had been largely absent as rights were being eroded.

He alluded to recent battles across the country, including over a Texas law that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, possibly as early as six weeks, and a Florida law that forbids classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.”

“Where is the Democratic Party?” he asked. “Why aren’t we standing up more firmly? More resolutely? Why aren’t we calling this out?”

“We sit there 24-7 taking it from the … misinformation and rage machine on the right,” he said. The Republicans, he added, “are winning.”

Newsom appeared to spare President Joe Biden from criticism, noting he was dealing with global crises. He said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “delivering,” but added that important legislation “is just not getting through the door” in the Senate.

California is making plans to become an abortion “sanctuary,” where reproductive rights would be expansively protected and patients could travel from other states for services. One proposal seeks to guarantee a right to an abortion in the state constitution.

If the Supreme Court overturns the Roe ruling, at least 26 states are likely to outlaw abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights advocacy group.

He said states that were restricting abortion rights were imposing “state-sponsored birth,” but failing to provide child care and other services for those women once a child is born.

When asked what he would say to a woman in California or elsewhere fearful of losing abortion rights, Newsom answered, “You matter. We care. We have your back. We love you.”

In a midterm election year when the president’s party typically loses seats in Congress, and with Biden’s approval ratings sagging, Newsom said he was hopeful Democratic voters would become energized amid the fight over abortion rights. California is a heavily Democratic state, but Republicans are hoping anger over rising crime rates, homelessness and inflation will help their party make inroads.

Earlier in the day, Newsom’s campaign released a new television ad, spotlighting his efforts to protect abortion rights and linking his leading Republican rival, state Sen. Brian Dahle to former Republican President Donald Trump. He employed a similar strategy against Republicans last year, when he easily survived a recall election that could have removed him from office.

“Elections do have consequences and we saw that with Donald Trump,” Newsom said at the clinic. “Wake up America. Wake up to who you are electing.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

46 minutes ago

Donald Trump's hush money trial: 12 jurors selected...

Associated Press

Although 12 jurors were picked for Donald Trump’s hush money trial, selection of alternates is ongoing

A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial. The proceedings are close to opening statements.

3 hours ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

1 day ago

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

3 days ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

3 days ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Newsom: Democrats need ‘counter-offensive’ in culture wars