Wave Staff Report
WEST HOLLYWOOD — Members of the City Council here denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision June 24 overturning the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that gave women the right to an abortion.
Three of the five City Council members attended a noon press conference outside City Hall.
“The city of West Hollywood stands with all of those whose lives are now in more danger than ever as a result of this ruling,” said Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne. “This Supreme Court decision sets women’s equality and bodily autonomy back decades.
“The city has been and will continue to work with Los Angeles County, the state of California, and our social service providers to ensure that we continue to fight for reproductive rights and provide a safe haven for women and transgender men accessing health care.”
“It’s clear to me that this version of the U.S. Supreme Court is untrustworthy, uninterested in history and perhaps now, permanently broken,” City Councilman John D’Amico said. “This is a strange and scary time in America.”
City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath called June 24 a “painful day in American history.”
“This Supreme Court has decided millions of people should be without reproductive health care access, putting our lives at risk and deepening political divisions in this country more than ever before,” Horvath said. There is no easy way to heal the wounds of this legal assault on the women of our country.
“Reproductive freedom — safe, affordable, accessible, culturally competent, gender-affirming quality health care including abortion — must be the law of the land and we must demand our federal representatives immediately end the filibuster and pass legislation that protects this most sacred right,” Horvath added. “This decision places an even greater burden on people who are already at risk — women, transgender people, the poor, immigrants and people of color. It is the duty of our government to protect our most vulnerable, not to further endanger our safety.
Horvath said that California would continue to be a safe haven for people in need of abortions and reproductive health care access and Los Angeles County will be the battleground for the fight to ensure no one will ever be denied their right to privacy and their right to decide whether and when to become pregnant.
“We cannot allow this moment to be the endpoint of our liberation,” she said. “Too much is at stake and too much has already been taken.”
While not attending the press conference, Mayor Lauren Meister and Councilman John Erickson also issued statements on the decision.
“Although I am not surprised, I am terribly disappointed that [the Supreme Court] would overturn a case that was decided decades ago, by its predecessors,” Meister said. “Instead of moving forward, the Supreme Court has decided to go back to a time when women were second-class citizens, without the right to make personal choices about their own health care, their own bodies or their own well-being. President Biden and Congress must make the right to choose the law of the land.”
Erickson agreed, saying the decision was not a surprise. “
“Our rights are — and have been — under attack,” he said. “We must band together to ensure everyone in this country has the right to access a safe and legal abortion. We’ve experienced and seen great progress but we must never forget the past and now we need to be prepared for those difficult battles to come in the future. West Hollywood will always be right here fighting for what’s right.”
The city was the first in the nation to declare itself pro-choice in 1993. Almost three decades later, West Hollywood continues to vigorously defend women’s reproductive rights and access to health care. The City has continually supported state and federal legislation protecting and advancing women’s reproductive rights and access to health care.
In May 2019, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution denouncing anti-choice legislation in Georgia and other states, becoming the first city to enact financial sanctions against states that have passed extreme anti-choice legislation.
Last September, the council unanimously denounced a Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, 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.