By Doug Porter
Editor Note: This article was originally published on March 15, 2016. The effort to erode women’s reproductive rights and access to health services here in San Diego was one of the under-reported stories of 2016.
The County of San Diego and the City of El Cajon are considering a proposed settlement with anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers, amounting to a pledge not enforce the Reproductive FACT Act.
In response, local pro-choice activists are presenting El Cajon City Attorney Morgan Foley and San Diego County Counsel Thomas Montgomery with petitions signed by 25,000 Californians urging them to enforce the letter and the spirit of the law.
NARAL Pro-Choice California, UltraViolet and Courage Campaign have been gathering signatures since the anti-choice organizations offered to remove local authorities as named defendants in lawsuits if they agree not to apply the law.
Under terms of the proposed deal storefront operations licensed as women’s pregnancy care clinics would be allowed to operate in violation of state law requiring them to notify patients about state programs for affordable reproductive health care including prenatal care, abortion care or contraception. Unlicensed centers to would not have to disclose that they are not licensed medical providers.
This would clearly be a victory for anti-choice forces, who have vowed to simply ignore the law as long as possible. They claim that posting notices about state programs and disclosing licensing information violates their First Amendment rights.
Within 24 hours of the governor’s signing the Reproductive FACT Act last October, anti-choice organizations began filing lawsuits to block it, and there are now five separate lawsuits pending. Fallbrook Pregnancy Resource Center and East County Pregnancy Care Clinic, anti-choice crisis pregnancy center based in San Diego County, are plaintiffs suing the state.
US District Court Judge John Houston has denied their request for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the law while the litigation is in progress. Other litigation filed by clinics in Northern California has not held up in Federal Court, and appeals to the Ninth Circuit were rejected.
The activist groups presenting petitions today say there’s no reason why local authorities shouldn’t enforce the law and hold pregnancy centers accountable for any violations.
“This law empowers women to make the best decisions for themselves and their families,” said Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice California. “The reproductive health of California women shouldn’t be subject to the whims of extremist anti-choice organizations and their rabid lawyers. Their attempts to bully local authorities into caving to anti-choice values that don’t represent our state are outrageous. All city and county attorneys have a responsibility to make sure women receive this unbiased information when they are making decisions about their reproductive health.”
A poll of likely voters conducted by Tulchin Research in August of last year found that 80% of San Diego area voters support the Reproductive FACT Act’s notification requirement. Some anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers are openly defying the law, even telling the press that they don’t intend to comply.
“The Reproductive FACT Act means virtually nothing if California’s government officials do not enforce it,” said Nita Chaudhary, UltraViolet co-founder. “Now that CPCs can no longer misrepresent themselves by lying to women, anti-choice extremists are trying to ignore the law and using bullying tactics and legal challenges to flout their legal obligations. That’s why elected officials in California need to push back against the bullying tactics of anti-choice extremists and hold them accountable under the law. The people of California have spoken and we will not allow these extremists to continue forcing their antiquated, misogynistic values onto the women of California.”
“These fake abortion clinics exist for no purpose other than to prey on women, girls, and people seeking abortion care by using lies, coercion, and shame to pressure them into not exercising their constitutional right to choose,” said Laura Leavitt, Campaign Manager at Courage Campaign. “Women should be informed of all their options. They should be allowed to make their own choices, based on facts, in a supportive environment that encourages them to do what is right for them, not someone else’s extremist, anti-choice agenda. And we won’t stop fighting until they do, starting by standing up to the anti-abortion extremists behind these bogus lawsuits and demanding that local authorities enforce the Reproductive FACT Act.”
The Reproductive FACT Act was authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) and sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Black Women for Wellness.
Super Tuesday II, the Sequel
Today is the big day, according to various media accounts. Voters in five states will make their preferences known as to who the nominee for either the Republican or Democrat Party should be. Then we’ll start hearing about how the next set of primary elections will be the one(s) to finally make or break various candidacies.
On the Republican side, I’ll venture to say that Senator Marco Rubio is likely to fade into the background. And The Donald will roll on (at least to the convention).
On the Democratic side, I’ll venture to say enough voters will Feel The Bern to keep things interesting.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton somehow thinks she can keep wrestling with pigs and not get muddied.
Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the embattled blood-testing startup Theranos, has struggled with commercial partners, shed board members and a lot of credibility over the last few months. Prize-winning reporting from the Wall Street Journal indicates that her multibillion dollar startup’s highly publicized blood-testing technology isn’t as successful as Theranos has made it seem.
One person Holmes hasn’t lost? Hillary Clinton, apparently.
Next Monday, Holmes is hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Palo Alto. The event includes a conversation with former First Family member Chelsea Clinton and participants who pay $2,700 get to go to a “host reception” with Chelsea.
Amanda Marcotte at Salon looked at the Orange One’s candidacy from the perspective of an attempt to gain revenge for the failures of social conservatism to stem the heathen tides of multiculturalism, Gay marriage, and Feminism. It’s worth a read.
The modern conservative movement is filled with people who believe they are due deference from the rest of us but are getting mockery instead. The conservative media has stoked this narrative of cultural resentment for decades, too. “Liberal elite” is a common catchphrase on the right. Some might think that term is an economic one, but in reality, it’s a cultural one. The “liberal elite” is mostly composed of people who belong to the middle class: Journalists, college professors, artists, even lawyers, most of whom are not millionaires. Meanwhile, the right absolutely hero worships conservative billionaires like the Waltons, the Kochs, and yes, Donald Trump.
No, the “liberal elite” is a term of cultural resentment, rooted in a thwarted sense of conservative entitlement. It’s backed by this narrative that there once was a time when America was “great” because the culture was controlled by white Christians, but at some point, usually the 1960s, the undesirables — hippies, artists, people of color, secularists, feminists, gay people — started taking over. This sense that something has been stolen and needs to be taken back is the organizing narrative of conservative populism.
Today’s Union-Tribune editorial and op-ed respond to the protests and violence surrounding Trump’s campaign events. The ever-more-reasonable (comparatively) UT editorial board is wringing its hands, urging cooler heads on all sides. The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson weighs in on the side of the protests being a necessary response to a bully.
I participated in an October 1968 event in San Diego at what was then called the Sports Arena. George Wallace held a rally– or, at least, tried to. Grad students from UCSD organized Hippies and Welfare Mothers for Wallace to infiltrate the crowd. (Some of those grad students were affiliated with the original San Diego Free Press.)
When the Alabama Governor appeared, we joined right in with his supporters, chanting We Want Wallace. Only we didn’t stop. And some of his confused crusaders kept on going with us.
After about 20 minutes Wallace finally understood what was going on, grabbing the mic and screaming “there’s two four letter words you hippies don’t understand: soap and work.” We agreed and took up the cause, joined by his now-very-confused supporters, chanting Soap and Work.
Wallace never got to make his prepared speech. And that very scary day (for me, anyway) ended up being the end of his barnstorming success. We weren’t the first to protest Wallace, and we certainly weren’t the last. The protest in San Diego received national coverage.
The medium (his rallies) became the message (rowdy and out of control), changing the dynamic of his campaign. I’m not saying he would have done better or worse in the November elections because of us; I am saying that we changed what people thought of when they heard of Wallace. Law and order became loud and out-of-control.
I want to express my complete admiration for those who’ve chosen to stand up and say no to Trump in a non-violent fashion. You have already made a difference. BTW- I also want to express my admiration for the Black Lives Matter activists who disrupted Bernie Sanders events. He responded with dialogue and became a better candidate.
For those who need reinforcement of the Trump as a bully concept, the New York Times has compiled a comprehensive list of insults coming from The Donald over the last seven months.
On This Day: 1916 – President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa. The mission failed. 1917 – The Supreme Court approved the 8-Hour Act under threat of a national railway strike. 1945 – “Billboard” magazine began listing a top albums chart. The first #1 was “The Nat King Cole Trio.”
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