“The City of West Hollywood, the first city to go on record as being pro-choice, is committed to protecting women’s reproductive rights,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister in press release today affirming the City’s commitment to being a pro-choice city. “We cannot go backwards. It is up to our representatives in Congress, with our support, to make women’s right to choose the law of the land.”
The City of West Hollywood is responding to a Supreme Court of the United States draft opinion, which was made public in an online media report on Monday, May 2, 2022.
According to the draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., a majority of the court would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to an abortion. The landmark US Supreme Court decision issued in 1973 legalized abortion in the United States. The draft opinion additionally repudiates the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
In nearly half of US states, lawmakers have prepared bills that would effectively outlaw abortion if the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
The City of West Hollywood was the first city in the nation, in 1993, to declare itself a pro-choice city. Almost three decades later, West Hollywood continues its efforts to vigorously defend women’s reproductive rights and access to healthcare. The City has continually supported state and federal legislation protecting and advancing women’s reproductive rights and access to healthcare.
“It’s a dark day in America. The warnings that we all received about the presidency of Donald Trump are cascading down into reality against women – all women,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne. “The effects of overturning Roe v. Wade and Casey would be overwhelmingly negative. In California – especially in West Hollywood – we have the privilege of being able to access safe and legal reproductive health services. But, we are all at risk. We are all in danger. We must, and we will, fight and fight and fight. We won’t stop until our president and our Congress take action to put women and girls and transgender men and reproductive rights first.”
“The Supreme Court’s impending decision on the future of reproductive freedom is devastating,” said Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath. “That our federal government intends to deny our constitutionally protected rights, which have been enshrined by decades of legal precedent, is the most vicious legal assault in modern history. Now more than ever before, we must take seriously our commitment to being a pro-choice city. In the City of West Hollywood, we have developed a plan to ensure that comprehensive reproductive health services, including safe access to abortion, are available for people in our city, in Los Angeles County, and from all over the country who are threatened by discriminatory laws in their own home states. I will stand strong with our community, and service providers like Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, to fight like hell against life-threatening forced pregnancies and to ensure women’s rights and safety are protected.”
“The news about this draft opinion is reflective of a Supreme Court that was appointed to do one thing: overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Councilmember John M. Erickson. “The news underscores what advocates have been saying: that we must act now to be prepared for the end of the right to abortion in this country. West Hollywood is the first city in the country to declare itself pro-choice and we will always rise up and fight back against these oppressive and draconian rulings. This news is terrifying. It is a wake-up call for millions of people who thought the US Supreme Court would protect them from this dangerous direction and, more importantly, from the scarier decisions yet to come for countless people. The time to act is now: stand up, fight back, and vote like your life depends on it, because it just might.”
“We need Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer to move our Congress to make abortion and family planning services Federal Law that President Joe Biden will sign to ensure that rights for women and families are available without regard to which party has appointed the Supreme Court judges,” said Councilmember John D’Amico.
The City of West Hollywood regularly monitors policies and proposals that impact West Hollywood’s residents, including women, LGBTQ residents, people with disabilities, seniors, people of color, and immigrants, among others, and the City will continue to be a champion and defender of health equity and reproductive freedom.
In May 2019, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood, unanimously approved a Resolution to denounce anti-choice legislation in Georgia and other states, such as Alabama. With approval of that Resolution, West Hollywood became the first city in the nation to enact financial sanctions and act against states that have passed extreme anti-choice legislation.
In September 2021, the City Council of the City of West Hollywoodunanimously approved a Resolution denouncing the Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy (SB 8), developing additional financial sanctions until such time as the new law is revoked, and declaring the City of West Hollywood a safe harbor for reproductive freedom.
For more information, please contact Andi Lovano, the City of West Hollywood’s Community and Legislative Affairs Manager, at (323) 848-6333 or at [email protected].