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Guest Opinion | Declare Pasadena a Champion and Defender of Health Equity and Reproductive Freedom

Published on Monday, November 29, 2021 | 3:56 pm

As leaders in our communities, we stand united in challenging established systems of inequity and advocate for a more equitable, compassionate, and responsive city for the people of Pasadena. There’s a lot of work to be done in our community, and while we each have our respective areas of focus, the issue bringing us together at this moment is ensuring that the constitutional right to abortion be upheld and protected at every level of government.

We are health care providers, activists, and non-profits working in Pasadena, bonded together by our shared and fundamental belief that abortion is health care. We advocate for low income, Black, indigenous and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people to obtain equitable healthcare that includes access to abortion. Together, alongside a powerful movement of supporters, we feel the urgency in pushing forward a proclamation that guarantees Pasadena is a safe haven for abortion access.

We refuse to go back 50 years to a time when people could not access safe and legal abortion. The vicious S.B. 8 Texas law that bans nearly all abortions is a dangerous step backward in the fight for reproductive freedom. This oppressive mindset is out of step with a majority of Americans and yet it is taking hold in legislatures across the country, leading to the introduction of copycat abortion bans in many states.

The blatant, egregious, and illegal disregard for a woman’s, gender non-confirming and transgender person’s right to autonomy and self-determination doesn’t stop there. Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that gives all people the right to a safe, legal abortion, and which has prevented countless deaths from unsafe abortions, is also at risk. The Supreme Court is set to hear a case on December 1st that could make Roe v. Wade obsolete.

If the Supreme Court rules to take away the long-standing right to abortion, a Guttmacher Institute report estimates that for 1.4 million people of reproductive age, the next nearest abortion provider would be in California. The report findings highlight why it is so critical that city governments, like Pasadena, take a stand with their communities and do whatever is necessary to protect and expand access to a safe abortion.

We are not alone in feeling outraged, disappointed, and fearful about the future of abortion access in this country. Last month we were joined by over 1,000 of our neighbors in cars, bikes, and motorcycles outside Pasadena City Hall honking their horns and making their voices heard that attacks on reproductive freedom are unacceptable and will be met with relentless resistance. Abortion is an issue that not only unites our organizations, it also brings our communities together.

We stand ready to work with Mayor Victor Gordo and the Pasadena City Council to deliver a clear and unwavering message to the country that abortion access is here to stay in Pasadena. We are calling for a proclamation to declare the City of Pasadena a champion and defender of health equity and reproductive freedom and that our city welcomes anyone seeking to fully exercise their reproductive rights and access a safe, legal abortion.

We respectfully ask that you join us in protecting abortion services in our community by sending a clear message to anyone who may need to come to Pasadena for their reproductive health care. A proclamation in support of abortion access would be a powerful statement and a public way to say: abortion is health care and Pasadena stands with you.

In This Together, In Solidarity,

Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley, Black Women for Wellness, Peace Over Violence, Plan C, Indivisible Alta-Pasadena, POP, Active SGV, Day One, National Women’s Political Caucus- Pasadena and SGV chapters, SGV LGBTQ Center, Sierra Madre Activists Rebuilding Together, Women’s Wellness, Rooted in Resistance, and Swing Left SGV

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