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GOP efforts to ban abortion nationwide part of a ‘war on women,’ Newsom says in DC

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will tell NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that the Alabama ruling that frozen embryos can be regarded as children is part of a Republican “war on women more broadly defined, including, as we know, contraceptives.”

Newsom, in Washington for the National Governors Association conference, taped the interview earlier during his trip. The Bee obtained a partial transcript Saturday.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled recently that embryos created by in vitro fertilization are children, sparking fear that someone who damages the embryos could face penalties.

Democrats see their strong, historic support for abortion rights as a major campaign asset. Newsom has been a strong supporter of President Joe Biden, and cited strong differences between the two parties on abortion rights issues.

Former President Donald Trump, who is running in November to regain the White House, has said privately he’s considering backing a 16-week federal ban on abortions that would include exceptions.

Newsom scoffed. “These people aren’t serious,” he said.

Other Republicans will push for a tougher ban, the governor said, and Trump would sign a national ban.

“You want to understand the contours of this debate that we will be having over the next nine months,” he said.

On Friday, Newsom told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that “apparently, what the Republican party is saying — is the rapists have more rights to bring those babies to birth, than families that are trying desperately to have the privilege you and I have had as fathers and parents.”

Newsom in Washington

The governor has been in Washington for several days. At a Thursday meeting with White House staffers, Newsom raised what a news release called “California’s insistence” that the Federal Emergency Management Agency “honor its commitment to fully reimburse California’s local governments for expenses to shelter and protect homeless people under Project Roomkey during the COVID pandemic.”

The program began in early 2020, as the pandemic sent the economy reeling. It paid for thousands of homeless people to live in hotels, so they would avoid being squeezed into shelters where the coronavirus could easily spread.

The state believed Washington would pay for the stays, but FEMA later declared it would only pay limited amounts for Project Roomkey after mid-2021. That leaves the state and local governments with bills totaling millions of dollars, according to a report by CalMatters earlier this month.

Biden himself stuck to broader themes when he met with the governors Friday morning. In a brief talk with the state leaders, he urged them to push for the compromise immigration plan that is stalled in Congress. Governors sat at tables listening, with fact sheets at each seat describing the plan.

“If this matters to you, matters to your state, tell your members of Congress that are standing in the way, show a little spine,” Biden said.

Newsom on Nikki Haley

Later Friday, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Newsom about Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador who’s challenging Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.

“I think she’s one of our better surrogates, so I hope she stays in,” Newsom said.

He smiled as he said he was enjoying watching her campaign. “I hope it continues. So I wish her luck.”