Councilmembers & County may declare San Diego a “safe city for reproductive freedom”
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Several San Diego City Councilmembers will submit a proposal at the council meeting Tuesday which, if passed, would declare San Diego a “safe city for reproductive freedom and access to abortion,” a move which its supporters believe would make the city the first in the nation to do so.
Councilman Stephen Whitburn authored the resolution with Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe and Councilwomen Jennifer Campbell and Marni von Wilpert.
In similar news, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal from Supervisors Terra Lawson-Remer and Nora Vargas calling on the California to add the right to choose into California’s constitution.
“It is time for California to enshrine the right to choose in our state constitution,” said Lawson-Remer. “We cannot stand by as people across our nation are stripped of our rights, and the progress so many have fought for is erased. We can build a firewall in the California state constitution and be a beacon of safe and legal abortion access.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision on the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization over the summer. In violation of Roe v. Wade and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case, Mississippi passed a law in 2018 prohibiting abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. The Supreme Court’s decision on the case could effectively overturn Roe v. Wade, which guarantees abortion rights throughout the U.S. until the fetus is viable, typically between 22 and 24 weeks.
In a draft ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito obtained by Politico, he opines, in part, “Roe ‘was egregiously wrong from the start.’ ”
“We hold that `Roe’ and `Casey’ must be overruled,” the document states, according to Politico. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Politico noted that the document is only a draft and could be changed dramatically, or even fundamentally changed, before it is published and finalized this summer.
Chief Justice John Roberts reiterated that point, saying the draft “does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
But news of the ruling sparked a flurry of concern from many Democratic California elected leaders.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, and Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, released a statement that they would propose “an amendment to enshrine the right to choose in our state constitution so that there is no doubt as to the right to abortion in this state.”
“We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution,” the statement said. “Women will remain protected here.”
The proposed amendment is unlikely to have much of a practical effect because of existing state laws.
The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution 11-0 on Friday calling for legislation to codify the right to safe abortions in California and throughout the United States. Once signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, it would formalize the city’s support for any proposed legislation that would codify the right to safe abortion into law and urge the state and federal governments to take immediate action to pass the legislation.