Temecula drops proposed ‘sanctuary city’ abortion ban

After California’s attorney general warned Temecula against passing a local abortion ban, the city council voted not to go ahead with the measure in a heated session Tuesday.

The Council voted 4 to 1 not to include the anti-abortion resolution on a future Council agenda. Councilwoman Jessica Alexander, who proposed the resolution to declare Temecula “a city of refuge for Temecula’s unborn,” was the only yes vote.

“It is our duty as City Council members to uphold the oath we have taken to the Constitution and to protect the rights of our citizens, visible and invisible,” Alexander, the director of Temecula’s Birth Choice Center, said during Tuesday’s meeting . “Today I challenge this body to draft a resolution affirming that Temecula represents life, from conception to natural death.”

Alexander played a video showing a uterus with a fetus.

“We have the right to stand up for these babies,” she said while holding up a fetus figurine. “These are children. This is what they look like at 21 weeks.”

Before the meeting, Atty. General Rob Bonta’s office had sent a letter to the council on Friday warning that there would be “legal action” if it passed an abortion ban to overrule state laws.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, the city had received 122 emails about the resolution banning abortions, 84% of whom opposed it, city clerk Randi Johl said.

Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn, who is running as a Republican for November’s convention, said he was “pro-life” but had trouble being “stunned” by the last council meeting’s resolution.

“How do we move forward with something like this without in some way disenfranchising a part of our community? That’s the challenge,” he said during Tuesday’s meeting.

Council member Maryann Edwards said she could not support the resolution because it asked the council to “break the law”.

“We need to find a way to care for those women who are in life-threatening situations or who are victims of violence or human trafficking,” she said during the meeting. “We have to find a way to solve this problem. … You and I both know that as terrible as it is when laws prohibit something, people who need help will find a way around the law.”

Mayor Pro Tem Zak Schwank told Alexander that their actions were to “serve yourself, your career, your church, your pastor and your political party.”

“I would take that crowded house and the conference center and the breeze and the hundreds of emails against it as an indication that your view doesn’t represent Temecula as a whole,” he said.

Speakers, including abortion advocates and members of the religious community, filled the council chambers.

Simon Cooper, the executive pastor of 412 Church Temecula Valley, said Alexander showed strength and bravery in introducing the proposal.

“I want to express my strong support for Temecula to be known as a lifelong haven city,” he said. “Not just in name, but in action, as it can be a great opportunity to offer support and resources to people facing the reality of an unexpected pregnancy.”

Temecula resident Jennifer Crum said she was “red-hot” when she heard about the proposed abortion ban.

“First of all, how do you turn your back on your fellow wives?” asked Crum. “We have fought for our rights and equality for too long and are not even there yet. Don’t take away women’s rights. who are you protecting Who is forced to have an abortion? Who is being coerced anywhere in the US or near?”

A similar anti-abortion resolution was proposed in San Clemente last month, but was withdrawn by a vote of 3-1.

Tuesday’s meeting in Temecula came as Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law 13 anti-abortion and reproductive health laws. State lawmakers have attempted to strengthen California’s abortion protections and develop a plan for the state to become a sanctuary for those denied abortion services in other states after the Roe vs. Wade tipping.

California voters will vote on Proposition 1 in November, an amendment to the state constitution guaranteeing abortion and birth control rights. A poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies released last month showed that 7 in 10 California voters support the constitutional amendment.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-29/temecula-drops-proposed-abortion-ban-california-sanctuary-city Temecula drops proposed ‘sanctuary city’ abortion ban

Alley Einstein

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