A fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of a vote in the California legislature left the People’s Convoy celebrating the advancement of a bill they believe would legalize infanticide Tuesday night.
The People’s Convoy is in sunny Sacramento for at least three days of blocking traffic, blaring horns and yelling about COVID-19 restrictions, according to the Sacramento Bee. But protesters turned their attention on California’s legislature Tuesday night, as the Assembly Health Committee voted to advance a bill which has been sold by right-wing pundits as legalizing infanticide. When the bill passed out of committee with 11 ayes and 3 nays, the People’s Convoy curiously began celebrating. The YouTube channel Behind The Mirror cut together a few different streams of Tuesday night’s protesters:
When Assembly Member Jim Wood said after the vote “…that is 11 to 3 — that bill is out as well,” Wood meant the bill was now out of committee and on to the California Senate for a vote, but some of the People’s Convoy protestors in the hall didn’t grasp that.
“Don’t ever introduce that kind of legislature again!” one streamer shouted in the halls before heading out of the legislature building and walking a few blocks and into a wall of truck horns and people celebrating. He then credited the Convoy with a “reversal” of the vote, saying earlier that day the vote was five in favor and 3 against.
“I guess they would have had to show up to vote,” one man is heard saying.
“Yeah cause of all these trucks park in the middle of their dang fuckin’ capital!” the streamer shouted.
And then, after a few of the more curious and unsure protesters actually double checked with the Sergeant-At-Arms, the celebration fell apart. In case you can’t play the video at the moment, here are a few of my favorite reactions:
AB223, also known as Wicks. Reproductive Health, is an amendment to California’s existing Reproductive Privacy Act which would allow women to sue prosecutors who charge them for natal deaths either during pregnancy or postnatally up to seven days. California law already protects pregnant women who miscarry or lose their babies a few days after birth from prosecution, but it also protects prosecutors who might bring painful and life-changing criminal charges, according to the ABC10:
California could become the second state, after Illinois, that lets pregnant people sue prosecutors for erroneous charges related to pregnancy loss, according to Diaz-Tello, the lawyer for If/When/How.
The bill — which cleared the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday — would also clarify that people cannot be liable for civil or criminal penalties “based on their actions or omissions” with respect to a “perinatal death due to a pregnancy loss.” Perinatal is not defined in the bill, but it usually includes up to seven days after birth, according to a legislative analysis of the proposal.
To be clear, the murder of an infant is still illegal in California. This bill does not prevent police from investigating such deaths. It is a bill that only allows women to go after prosecutors who charge them with a crime in the event of miscarriage or sudden infant death. Talking heads on the right, somehow, interpreted this as Californians having 7 days to murder their kids and get away with it, hence the convoy turnout. The bill cleared the Assembly Health Committee with a vote of 11 ayes and 3 nays — and again, that means 11 voted yes and 3 voted no — and goes to the Senate next week.
It’s probably a good idea for the People’s Convoy to branch out since, as the Sacramento Bee points out, there’s not a whole lot left to protest, even in California:
Many of California’s virus-related health orders from earlier in the pandemic have been lifted in recent weeks.
A temporary mask mandate reinstated in mid-December, due to the highly contagious omicron variant, ended in mid-February for the fully vaccinated and was lifted March 1 for those who are unvaccinated. A statewide mask order for K-12 students, teachers and staff ended March 12.
Last week, the California Department of Public Health announced the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for K-12 students would not kick in until at least summer 2023, as the state awaits full approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Newsom and the health office had previously anticipated that approval would arrive in time to begin the mandate this summer.
The state on April 1 also dropped requirements for businesses and venues to verify proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for attendance at large indoor events. A state of emergency issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom in March 2020 remains in place, though Newsom in February announced he was rescinding a large number of his COVID-related executive actions. Some of those ended immediately, some ended March 31 and others are set to expire June 30.
Then again, the Convoy hasn’t ever had a clear objective. They drove around D.C. a little, got flipped off, got lost, peed themselves, beat up and threatened some folks, yelled lies about COVID-19, but never really got to meet with elected officials or really make an impact on daily life for the vast majority of Washingtonians other than being momentarily annoying.
They’re up to the same fun tricks, it seems. On Monday, Convoy protesters overflowed their event and crashed a nearby event meant to provide resources to crime survivors, the Bee reports. After a rally for 200 people on Wednesday, there are no other permits for protests granted to the People’s Convoy. Hopefully they’ll move on, though some can be heard in the streams talking about being there for the Senate vote on AB223 next week, so it’s anyone’s guess.
Thank you Nathan F for the tip!