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California Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at the State of the State address in Sacramento, CA, Mar 8, 2022. (Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock)

Gov. Newsom Posthumously Pardons California Abortion Provider from 80 Years Ago

Pardon of abortion advocate comes only days before election day

By Evan Symon, November 5, 2022 2:21 am

Governor Gavin Newsom announced a posthumous pardon for Laura Miner, a California woman who helped provide abortions for women in the 1930’s and 1940’s decades before Roe V. Wade, on Friday, bringing forward the issue of abortion only days before an election where abortion remains one of the top issues for voters.

Miner was a licensed chiropractor in San Diego in the 1930’s. In 1934, at the age of 35, she began offering women abortions and other reproductive healthcare, managing to continue doing this throughout the Great Depression and World War II. In 1948, Miner was finally caught and arrested, and was sentenced the next year. As the California State Constitution at the time had abortion down as a felony, Miner was subsequently sentenced to four years in jail for performing abortions and conspiracy to perform abortions. The 1850 abortion felony law was subsequently eroded in future years and was ultimately done away with in 1973 following the Roe v. Wade decision.

Miner’s case was largely forgotten until this year with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling in the Supreme Court and California placing Proposition 1 on the ballot to guarantee reproductive freedom for women brought her case to light. While Prop 1 is expected to pass on Tuesday, the issue of abortion and reproductive rights for women being a major part of many Democratic candidates positions led many Democratic lawmakers to hold up the issue against a growing expectation of numerous Republican victories. With the GOP having an 84% chance to take back the House, and a 55% chance of retaking the Senate, and many House races in California districts now poised to be in jeopardy for Democratic candidates, a push on abortion rights, a unifying issue for most on the left, was expected. On Friday, it came in the form of Miner’s pardon, with Newsom and others saying in official statements much more about the current issue of abortion rather than Miner.

Newsom’s latest pardon

“In California, we’re never going back to a time when women were forced to seek basic health care in back rooms and underground clinics,” said Governor Newsom in a statement on Friday. “Laura Miner’s story is a powerful reminder of the generations of people who fought for reproductive freedom in this country, and the risks that so many Americans now face in a post-Roe world. Miner paid a price for taking a stand, and today we’re taking a step to right this injustice and reaffirm California’s commitment to defending the hard-won progress made by countless advocates and health care providers over the decades.”

Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) added that “Laura Miner was a hero ahead of her time who willingly traded her own freedom to save countless women – women who risked everything to make their own healthcare decisions and, in a very basic sense, choose their own future. Laura’s bravery deserved to be commended, not prosecuted, and I’m grateful that we have evolved enough to be able to pardon her today. Laura’s story of subversive care eerily foreshadows what we may see as courts and statehouses across the country roll back our reproductive rights. We remember her, and the generations of women who had no option but to seek care in the shadows, as we continue the work to ensure that California is a beacon of reproductive justice and access for all.”

However, many elections experts said on Friday that the pardon comes too little, too late for changing most people’s minds on races, due to other issues, such as crime and inflation worries, overtaking the issue of abortion in the past several weeks.

“It’s obvious what they were trying to rally support with this pardon,” explained Ana Ruiz, an pollster focusing on state propositions , to the Globe on Friday. “You can read that in their statements. But if they were trying to get people to fall back in the Democratic fold before election day, then they picked the wrong issue. The pardon should have been about someone who broke a law back then that is no longer illegal now. But instead, they politicized it.

“They are just going to solidify people voting for their candidates already with this move. Everyone else is concerned about where the economy is going and being able to afford food and to keep the lights on. Prop 1 will still pass just fine, but for the candidates? This isn’t going to help much.”

Miner’s pardon was the second posthumous pardon Newsom has given since taking office in 2019.

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8 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom Posthumously Pardons California Abortion Provider from 80 Years Ago

  1. “Prop 1 is expected to pass on Tuesday”? (according to an unreliable PPIC poll?)
    I wouldn’t count on it.
    Please read:
    “OPINION: Proposition 1 goes too far and risks unintended consequences, vote no”
    “Proposition 1 prohibits the state from denying or interfering with the choice to have an abortion right up to the moment of birth.
    “If you support abortion rights, think this all the way through.
    “First, remember that Proposition 1 isn’t necessary because current state law protects abortion rights, with reasonable and widely supported limits.”

  2. This guy is certainly fixated on this one topic, isn’t he???
    For those that didn’t see Katy Grimes’ excellent summation of why this narcissistic-personality disordered megalomaniac should be voted out of office next Tuesday, please search for the recent nearby article titled “Newsom’s policies are up for votes next Tuesday” or similar…
    The list is long and the reasons are many….

    FURTHERMORE, I strongly encourage everyone to NOT submit your “Vote By Mail” ballot, and instead SURRENDER IT and ask for an ANONYMOUS IN-PERSON ballot and vote that instead…

    Why? We have a pResident who has given TWO recent speeches stating that those that don’t go along with the government narrative are essentially domestic terrorists and enemies of the State.
    He has weaponized the DOJ and the IRS, and with all of these actions has raised my concerns about these mail in ballots..
    If Ballot Trax can provide you with the status of your ballot,then those processing them can determine your ballot and they’re not anonymous any longer…
    Plus, I have concerns that they have printed the Republican ballots slightly incorrectly, requiring them to be “adjudicated” and therefore changed to “interpret the will of the voter”…

    Lastly, Newsom signed the order MANDATING vote by mail (or CHEAT by mail ballots) so as an act of DEFIANCE, we will be SURRENDERING our Vote by Mail bar-coded ballot in favor of an in-person, ANONYMOUS ballot next Tuesday when we vote BRIAN DAHLE for Governor, STRAIGHT Republican ticket and NO on every proposition AND Judge except the last lady….

    Repudiate and resist EVERYTHING Newsom has done by voting ANONYMOUSLY AND IN-PERSON next Tuesday…

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