By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

On June 24, 2022, Californians woke up to a world that many of us had never known. Earlier that day, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the devastating decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center. And with that, 50 years of settled law that was Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the federal constitutional protection of abortion rights, was struck down. The consequences have been vast and tremendously negative. With a subsequent wave of restrictions and bans on abortions in states throughout the U.S., Oakland has pushed back against these regressive policies, declaring Oakland a Right-to-Choose Sanctuary City in Resolution No. 89201 CMS: https://tinyurl.com/2fc4b2ed

Once again, we are taking a stand by sharing our fervent support of Proposition 1, which would enshrine in the California State Constitution the right to an abortion and the right to choose to use contraceptives and the right not to choose to use contraceptives. I, along with Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao, and Councilmember Carroll Fife, have introduced a resolution that would put the City of Oakland on the record in support of Proposition 1 and the rights it safeguards.

The Supreme Court rollback on a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion has reverberated across the county, both galvanizing communities to denounce the decision and energizing others to impose strict limitations on individuals seeking an abortion. Since the reversal, more than 20 states have restricted access to abortions, imposing criminal sanctions on individuals receiving or performing an abortion. In some cases, states have also imposed civil offenses against any person who aids or abets a person who is receiving an abortion.

Reproductive freedom is intertwined with many issues of social justice, such as economic, gender, and racial equity. A strong support system for reproductive freedom measures therefore ensures people of all backgrounds have access to the care they need and reproductive choices they want. We know access to reproductive health care should not depend on your zip code, and people should be able to access reproductive health care without medically unnecessary barriers or restrictions.

Proposition 1, which will be voted on in the November 2022 election, will allow individuals and families to continue to have the freedom to determine what is best for them and their families, giving people the ability to plan their lives and make important reproductive decisions without government interference. By expressly stating the right to choose to have an abortion is a fundamental right in the California Constitution, Proposition 1 will protect against potential future attacks at the federal level and erosion of those rights by the courts and legislatures. With the passage of Proposition 1, Californians won’t live in fear of a morning like June 24. I encourage you to vote for Proposition 1 for the future of women in this state.

Councilmember At-Large and Council President Rebecca Kaplan, who is the Vice Mayor of Oakland, was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland (https://tinyurl.com/2p974fmk ) and Facebook (https://tinyurl.com/34c3zkrv).

Out of the Closet and Into City Hall
Published on September 22, 2022



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