By Citizens Journal Staff Writer
There is a recommendation that the City Council adopt a resolution declaring:
1. The City of Oxnard’s commitment to women’s rights and reproductive freedom;
2. The City of Oxnard as a Right-To-Choose sanctuary city; and
3. Support for the codification of the right to an abortion into Federal and California Constitutional law.
On May 17, 2022, Councilmember Lopez proposed the City Council consider a resolution declaring the City’s support for women’s rights and reproductive freedom.
Councilmember Lopez’s proposal was motivated by a leaked draft opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Clinic.
The opinion revealed the Court’s intent to overturn the longstanding decision of Roe v. Wade, which granted women a Constitutional right to an abortion.
Decided in 1973, Roe v. Wade established a women’s right to an abortion as a Constitutional right of privacy under the 14th Amendment.
The ruling was subsequently upheld in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. If Roe is overturned, roughly 22 states are set to restrict access to abortion, preventing approximately 100,000 women from accessing abortions within the first year.
Restricting access to abortion does not reduce the demand for abortions as one
in four women will have an abortion in their reproductive lifetimes. If Roe is struck down, California will become a destination for many women seeking care that may be illegal in their home cities and states.
It is estimated that 49% of abortion patients live at or below the poverty level, while 59% of abortion patients already have children and 55% are experiencing at least one disruptive life event.
Moreover, according to a 2020 study, women denied abortions are more likely to fall into debt, file for bankruptcy, and use social services. Marginalized groups,
particularly low-income women and women of color, will be the most impacted if Roe is overturned, causing greater societal inequity.
Access to reproductive healthcare, including access to abortion, is therefore essential to the personal autonomy, health, and equality of women.
In early May of this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have codified a women’s right to terminate her pregnancy. However, the Act did not pass the U.S. Senate. More recently, on June 8th, SCA 10—granting a constitutional right to an abortion and contraceptives—was introduced in the California State Senate. If SCA 10 passes both the Senate and Assembly before June 30th, it will be placed on the November ballot
for a vote of the people.
This agenda item is a routine operational item or does not relate to the five strategic priorities adopted by City Council on March 16, 2021.
Several local groups and individuals are planning to meet outside the Council Chambers at 5:30pm to voice their opinion on this resolution. The public is encouraged to attend.
Attached is the resolution document Resolution Supporting Reproductive Rights