“While California has a long legacy of supporting abortion rights, we cannot guarantee who will be in power in the future,” said Joan Hartmann, a Santa Barbara County supervisor. With that fact in mind, Proposition 1 would place in the California Constitution the right to reproductive freedom, including the right to have an abortion and to choose or refuse contraceptives. Hartmann and several elected officials stood on the county courthouse steps on Monday morning, making the case for why voters should vote yes on Proposition 1.
The amendment is about the right to privacy and equal protection, Hartmann said, and especially necessary after the Supreme Court overturned women’s right to an abortion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in June. Hartmann noted that if the court’s interpretation of history in Dobbs were carried forward, “No amount of societal change, scientific advancement, or recognition of past injustices would allow Americans any rights beyond those that a small group of white property-owning men explicitly guaranteed 200 years ago.”
State Senator Monique Limón brought up the anti-abortion bill introduced by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, stating it would “ensure that every state loses access to abortion and reproductive care.” Limón said, “We are under attack, and we take nothing for granted,” in explaining why it was important for Californians to vote for Proposition 1.
Describing the chaos and confusion across the country since the Dobbs decision, Luz Reyes-Martín, a vice president with Planned Parenthood and a candidate for Goleta City Council, pointed out that abortion was health care, and that patients, doctors, and providers should not have to consult lawyers about providing care. The vocal support Planned Parenthood workers and volunteers had received was important, she said, and activists continued to work to bring abortion rights back to parts of the country where reproductive freedom was being dismantled. The vote for Prop. 1 would be historic, Reyes-Martín said: “California would send a resounding message to the rest of the nation: Not here, not today, not tomorrow.”