SD County Supervisors Vote 3-1 For Reproductive Freedom Resolution –
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – After a lengthy and at times controversial public hearing, the supervisory board voted 3-1 on Tuesday to declare San Diego County a “champion of reproductive freedom.”
As proposed by Supervisor Nora Vargas, the resolution calls on the county to “serve as a role model and commit to defending and fighting for the freedom to procreate, and to welcome all those who seek to fully exercise their rights in this matter. of procreation and to access a legal and safe abortion ”.
According to the resolution, “As nearly 600 pieces of legislation attacking access to safe and legal abortions and women’s rights have been introduced across the country this year alone, it is clear that we must act to protect these hard-fought rights. “.
Vargas, Chairman of the Board Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer voted in favor of the resolution.
Supervisor Jim Desmond had objected, while Joel Anderson was absent due to illness, according to a spokesperson. Lawson-Remer called Vargas a “champion of these issues” her entire life, and said it was important to convey “that we stand together to protect the human rights of all women”.
For his part, Fletcher said he was delighted to support Vargas’ resolution.
In an emailed statement, Desmond said such a resolution was “politically confrontational” and “rests with the courts, not the county supervisory board.
“We have no authority over abortion,” Desmond said. “I have opposed and will continue to oppose matters that are not county business.”
Fletcher – whose wife, State MP Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego), underwent breast cancer surgery over the weekend – participated by teleconference.
The county’s resolution comes after the Texas state legislature passed a controversial law banning abortions after six weeks.
Vargas, a former Planned Parenthood of the Southwest executive, said access to health care also includes the right to abortion.
As some members of the audience began to boo, Vargas – the vice-chair of the board overseeing Tuesday’s meeting – hit the hammer and reminded opponents that they must behave or that they will be fired from the crowd. council chambers. “You have a choice – you can stay or go,” she told members of the audience.
Desmond then said to the audience, “Hey, come on, let her finish.”
The council’s vote came after a public hearing lasting more than two hours in which only four of 80 speakers were in favor of the resolution. Most cited religious opposition to abortion, while supporters said it was up to a woman to decide when to become a parent.
Instead of promoting the right to abortion, many opponents urged the county to support better programs for pregnant women and mothers in need.
Melanie Burkholder, a Republican candidate for a seat in the State Assembly District 76, said such a resolution was unnecessary in light of the more serious social and economic challenges facing the county.
“This is clearly political demagoguery,” said Burkholder, who added that there is no problem with access to abortion in San Diego County.
Zack Gilman, pastor of the Reformed Church in San Diego, urged supervisors to vote against the resolution.
“Children in the womb are the most vulnerable group on the planet and have been the most despised and slaughtered,” he said. “Would it be good for me to rip your legs off your body, because it’s just a bunch of cells?” “
Judith Howell, of the abortion rights group Run Women Run, thanked Vargas for sponsoring the resolution.
“The community is rooting for you and this resolution,” Howell said, adding that abortion bans are hurting communities that already lack health care.
“Restricting abortion won’t stop abortion,” Howell said.
Vernita Gutierrez, vice president of Planned Parent of the Pacific Southwest, thanked Fletcher, Lawson-Remer and Vargas for pushing the resolution forward, calling the attacks on abortion rights in the county “dangerous”.
The full county resolution can be viewed at https://bosagenda.sandiegocounty.gov/cob/cosd/cob/doc?id=0901127e80d89987.