SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gray Davis has promised to sign legislation specifically designed to protect the “reproductive rights” of California women regardless of changes in federal law, the conservative news service CNSNews.com reported Aug. 22.

On a party-line vote, the Democrat-controlled California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Privacy Act on Aug. 19 by a 44–23 margin, sending the pro-abortion legislation to Davis, who is Catholic.

Included in the legislation is a provision granting women greater access to the chemical abortion pill RU-486.

“Yes, he's going to sign it,” Davis' spokesman Russ Lopez told CNSNews.com.

Davis' 2002 campaign Web site says the incumbent governor “helped make California the most pro-choice state in the nation, signing into law seven pieces of legislation to strengthen a woman's right to choose.” Davis is running for re-election against Republican nominee Bill Simon, a pro-life Catholic.

Lopez said Davis has been working closely with the Reproductive Privacy Act bill's author, Democratic Sen. Sheila Kuehl.

Kuehl, California's first lesbian state senator, said the pro-abortion bill will protect Californians from an “anti-choice president, an anti-choice Congress and the Supreme Court,” which she fears is a single vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade.

California Catholic Conference spokesman David Pollard told CNSNews the new state law would aggravate the social injuries caused by abortion. “[Abortion] is just one of those elements of our society that we believe is causing damage to society,” Pollard said. “The more irreversible it becomes, the more difficult it will be to control the damage that is happening.”