The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to prohibit official travel to Alabama for one year in response to that state’s recently approved abortion ban.
The motion, recommended by Supervisor Hilda Solis, makes exceptions for travel related to emergencies and other matters where the ban would seriously harm county interests.
“This challenge by Alabama and other states would overturn decades of precedent,” Solis said in a statement issued after the vote. “It is an attack not only confined to the residents of those states, but an act of aggression upon all of us. We must stand in solidarity and in opposition against extremist and unconstitutional laws that put the health and well-being of families at risk.”
The four members of the board present at the meeting, all women, voted in favor of the prohibition without comment.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was in Oakland for an event with Gov. Gavin Newsom focused on statewide homelessness.
At least one member of the public opposed the motion, titled “Abortion is Healthcare.”
“Abortion is not health care,” Mark Gallagher told the board. “It is a grave moral evil.”
The supervisors also voted to send a letter to the governors and legislative leaders of Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Utah setting out the county’s opposition to legislation restricting access to abortion and calling for the immediate repeal of any such laws.
“Everyone knows that banning abortion won’t stop women from accessing abortion services even when it puts them in unsafe medical situations,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said. “In Alabama, women who have the money will be able to safely access abortion, but women who are poor will not. Women across the country must resist legislation that will limit reproductive choices that are essential to every woman’s health.”
The board directed its CEO and county counsel to monitor relevant legislation and look for opportunities to participate as a plaintiff or in filing a friend of the court brief in related lawsuits.
“Los Angeles County will stand against all attempts to dismantle the protections afforded by Roe v. Wade and the U.S. Constitution,” Solis said. “Today’s vote sends a strong signal that infringing upon an individual’s rights to reproductive health and privacy are not American values.”
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