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    Senseless Drama; Oxnard Declares Itself “Abortion Sanctuary”

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    By Kevin Harris

    The Oxnard City Council has adopted a resolution declaring the city a “Right-to-Choose” Sanctuary City in support of abortion rights, in response to the Supreme Court overturning the 1973 “Roe v Wade” ruling. The idea was first suggested by Oxnard  Councilwoman Vianey Lopez back in May, 2022, following a leaked SC memo indicating they were going to overturn the controversial ruling. 

    Despite the repeated claims of many abortion supporters, however, over ruling R v W did not outlaw all abortions. Instead, it removed its status as a constitutional right (which R v W gave it), and turned the issue over to the states to administer. Almost immediately, Governor Newsom proclaimed California an “abortion sanctuary state,” saying abortion providers would welcome those seeking the procedure from other states. 

    Again, overturning R v W made the topic of abortions into a state issue, and in California, abortions will remain fully legal. Additionally, according to City Manager Alex Nguyen, Oxnard’s resolution will not  have the city providing funding for healthcare or abortion access! 

    So what did Oxnard’s “Right-to-Choose” resolution do? Well, for starters, it generated more than five hours of public comment and debate, and more than 150 written and verbal pre-submitted comments for the July 10 City Council meeting. And we’re not talking about discussions over city budget or new building construction – which themselves can get heated at times. We’re talking about abortion… the issue that tangles personal spirituality/religion with people’s perceived personal bodily decisions with protecting those who can’t protect themselves, to name a few. 

    Are the people of Oxnard not at odds and divided enough already? Are we not already stressed to the breaking point? Is more needless drama, more fuel to our fires really necessary to be thrown onto us by city leaders? What was to be gained by the resolution? Abortion is now a state issue, and in California abortions will remain legal and uninterrupted. 

    And the thing is, Oxnard, like any other city, has citizens from both sides of the debate! So what does the resolution say to Oxnard’s pro-life residents? The resolution does not settle the debate. It does not make the pro-choice residents suddenly right. 

    If your argument is that Oxnard is simply reinforcing what the SC did; they passed the issue to the states to decide, and California chose to keep abortion legal, so our city is just reflecting that turn of events. Ok, fine. Then when will Oxnard pass a resolution declaring itself a “right to carry” city, based on the recent SC decision, “New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen?” 

    Maybe city council members should stop and take a breath, get control of themselves and evaluate what their roles are as council members. Because while there may be some room for disagreement on what those specific roles are, I don’t think anyone would agree that they serve to further frustrate and divide their city.   

    Kevin Harris

    Kevin Harris is a reporter, editor and journalist, previous President of Cal State Northridge’s Society of Professional Journalists, and having worked for the LA Times and Newhall Signal. He is now also an author and videographer, and lives with his two children in Thousand Oaks. 


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