Four Oakland city councilmembers are voicing their support for a statewide ballot measure this fall to establish a right to reproductive freedom in the state Constitution.

City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, City Council President Pro Tem Sheng Thao and Councilmember Carroll Fife spoke Tuesday in front of City Hall in favor of Proposition 1 on the November ballot.

The four are bringing to the City Council on Sept. 20 a resolution in support of Prop. 1, which would put in the state Constitution the right to have an abortion and to use or refuse contraception.

“This is the fight of our lifetime,” said Thao, who is running for Oakland mayor this fall in a field of 10 candidates.

The councilmembers’ position on Proposition 1 and the proposition itself follow a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that overturned Roe v. Wade, which gave people the right to an abortion nationwide.

“We cannot take our fundamental freedoms for granted,” said Shannon Olivieri Hovis, director of NARAL Pro-Choice California, which has more than 370,000 members in the state and advocates for women’s rights to reproductive health options.

Olivieri Hovis said 14 states already have total or extreme bans on abortion.

Federal and state law protects the right to the use of contraception. California law currently allows people to have an abortion or not, though the state restricts abortion in some cases.

For example, people can have an abortion on a viable fetus only if the health or life of the person who is pregnant is at risk. A viable fetus, according to state law, is a fetus that would likely survive outside of the uterus.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.