SAN DIEGO – The San Diego City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday to declare San Diego a “safe city” for access to abortion.
The vote, brought forward by councilmembers Stephen Whitburn, Jennifer Campbell, and Marni Von Wilpert comes just weeks after a leaked draft majority opinion showed the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 reproductive rights case that guaranteed access to abortion for women across the United States.
“No matter what happens with the Supreme Court ruling, no matter who you are or where you come from, no matter the color of your skin or your socioeconomic status, I want everyone to know that you are welcome in the City of San Diego to exercise your reproductive rights,” said councilmember Stephen Whitburn. “I want all San Diegans who are scared and frustrated about this potential ruling to know that you have members of this city council and a Mayor that have your back, and we will not back down.”
Earlier this month, state Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) announced she is proposing a state constitutional amendment to legally protect the right to abortion in California. Should the proposed amendment pass through the California legislature by June 30, it will make it onto the November ballot.
Governor Gavin Newsom has also been vocal about protecting the right to abortion in the state, recently promising $125 million to expand abortion access.
“California will not stand idly by as extremists roll back our basic constitutional rights; we’re going to fight like hell, making sure that all women — not just those in California — know that this state continues to recognize and protect their fundamental rights,” Newsom said in the release. “We’re expanding access to these critical services, welcoming businesses and their employees fleeing rights stakeholders to further solidify California’s leadership on abortion rights.”
While the official legislative process is underway in the California House of Representatives and Senate, San Diego City council members say they are not waiting to protect a woman’s right to choose.
“Access to abortion care is an imperative service along the reproductive health spectrum, and loss of this access can significantly impact the quality of life for so many women–especially women of color. As a champion for equity in our city, I stand with my colleagues in declaring San Diego as a safe space that reclaims dignity and reestablishes the right of autonomy and choice over our bodies,” said San Diego City Council President Pro Temp Monica Montgomery Steppe.