January 18, 2024

CA City Officials Chipping Away at Women's Rights

Voting “Down Ballot” Is Incredibly Important

Although the California Constitution was successfully amended in 2022 to protect a woman’s right to reproductive freedom, we cannot rest on our laurels.  Religious and political groups will continue to work to undermine this freedom, even in California!

A recent example can be found in the City of Fontana, where a proposed Planned Parenthood facility on Sierra Avenue has been effectively blocked during their permitting process.  This prompted the Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC) to file a legal Petition (view full text) against the City and four of its City council members.

Planned Parenthood And The Need For A Clinic In Downtown Fontana

Planned Parenthood found that many women from the Fontana area had been going to the clinic in San Bernardino, including women below the poverty level and people without health insurance.  The number of patients from Fontana was expected to grow.  The demand placed on the San Bernardino clinic was exacerbated by the influx of women from other states, like Arizona, where abortions and reproductive rights have been severely restricted.  In response to the growing need, and to help women who lacked adequate transportation to San Bernardino, PPOSBC made plans to establish a clinic in Fontana.  

The building for the clinic had been vacant and was leased in May 2022.   PPOSBC spent over a year completing the necessary steps to obtain permits to provide its services.  However, before the City could approve the necessary permit for the Clinic to open, some members of the community began to protest at council meetings.  They made inflammatory, anti-abortion statements, seeking to block the opening of the clinic. 


We urge DA members from across California to vote in the California Primaries* on March 5, 2024 and in the national elections on November 5, 2024.

To register to vote and to request your ballot, go to www.VoteFromAbroad.org TODAY!

* Vote in DA’S GLOBAL PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY as well as the CA PRIMARY - just remember, you can only vote for PRESIDENT ONCE!

The Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary (GPP) starts on Super Tuesday March 5 through March 12, 2024, to help select the next Democratic presidential candidate and our delegates to the DNC Convention in August. Simply leave the Presidential race blank on the CA Primary Ballot if you wish to vote in the GPP. More information here.

Access To Healthcare Should Not Be Determined By Religious Or Political Groups

According to the Petition, at one City Council meeting, a chaplain said “so many lives are taken through abortion and other forms of violence,” he asked that expectant mothers be given “wisdom and strength to choose life for their babies," that expectant fathers would be "empowered to stand up for the lives of their children," that “the unborn babies that are at risk of being abortedbe “protect[ed] from harm and be given the opportunity to live,“ and that those “who are working to protect innocent human lives" be given “courage, wisdom, and strength to continue their efforts” and “would be effective in promoting a culture of life.” Other citizens at the same meeting allegedly voiced their opposition, based on a belief that Planned Parenthood was “evil," an “abortion mill" or a “curse to t[he] city.”

Thereafter, the City adopted an ordinance placing a moratorium on any permits for certain “service based, non-entertainment uses” in a specific area that included the location for the clinic.  Page 3 of the Petition states that “in the initial review of materials produced in response to PPOSBC’s Public Records Act Request, the City has not produced any evidence that any other business has been impacted aside from PPOSBC.” [emphasis added]

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood assert that the city passed an unconstitutional and defective “urgency ordinance” to stop efforts to obtain their permit.  Their Petition states that other businesses were granted exceptions to this “urgency ordinance”, including properties where some council members had a personal or financial interest.   As a result,  it appeared the moratorium was designed primarily to frustrate the efforts by PPOSBC to establish their clinic. 

While the litigation continues, keep in mind that Fontana is part of the 35th District of the US House of Representatives, represented by Norma J. Torres (Democrat), who is currently Vice Chair of the U.S House of Representatives Pro Choice Caucus.  Both she and the other Democratic primary contender for the 35th district, Melissa May, are staunch advocates for reproductive freedoms.

Torres has stated, "I refuse to let today's young girls grow up with fewer rights than I did, and I will not allow our country to backslide to the days of back-alley abortions.  A woman's decisions about her body are hers and hers alone." (Here) 

Your vote at the national, state and local levels can make a differenceIn the above example, votes from abroad at the Municipal level that can change outcomes. Please be sure to vote all the way down the ballot in every election!


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