Elected officials from throughout Santa Clara County gathered at Robert Peckham Federal Building in downtown San Jose recently to affirm their support for abortion rights and urge voters to elect officials around the country that will do the same.
Several speakers at the June 24 rally, organized by Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez hours after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, also called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to support an amendment to the state constitution that would protect the right to have an abortion.
“We are vowing to protect the lives of women and girls, not only in California, but to keep this fight going across the country,” said Supervisor Chavez.
“For those who may live in a state where the right to choose has been cruelly snatched away, you are welcome to Santa Clara County to receive the care you need.”Supervisor Susan Ellenberg
Chavez said California cannot be an island and urged supporters to expand their outreach to voters living in other states. She predicted that if Republicans win control of Congress and the presidency, abortion would be outlawed nationwide.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg said county leaders would do everything they could to increase access to reproductive health care.
“For those who may live in a state where the right to choose has been cruelly snatched away, you are welcome to Santa Clara County to receive the care you need.”
Stacy Cross, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, said the local chapter was ready to provide care to an additional 250-500 patients a week, after receiving a $3 million boost in funding from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
Tears of sadness, fear and anger
San Jose City Councilmember Dev Davis, who described herself as perhaps the most conservative member of the body, said she cried tears of sadness, fear and anger upon hearing the decision. She said she valued personal liberty and said she was angry that her daughter would have to consider health care access when choosing where to attend college or get a job.
Davis also said the city will continue to enforce two ordinances previously passed to restrict picketers at abortion clinics, and within 300 feet of a residence.
Many of the lawmakers signed a letter from Supervisor Chavez and Councilmember Davis to Gov. Newsom last month, urging the state to be prepared for the impending decision overturning Roe v. Wade after a draft of the opinion was leaked in early May.
The letter asked the governor to announce his support for Assembly Bill 2091, which would prohibit local law enforcement from sharing information about patients seeking an abortion with out-of-state authorities. The letter also called on the governor to establish the funding and logistics to help ensure patients coming from out of state can receive care regardless of their financial situation.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen affirmed he would reject any request to cooperate with such an investigation by another state, city or county.
“If women aren’t free, then none of us are free,” said Rosen.