LA Officials Look to Preserve Right to Abortion in City

A pair of Los Angeles City Council members called Tuesday for the preparation of an ordinance barring any city resources from being used to detain anyone for obtaining or providing an abortion in the city or from cooperating with any out-of-state agency investigating people who obtain an abortion locally.

The head of the city Police Commission, meanwhile, called for the development of a policy preventing the Los Angeles Police Department from enforcing any federal law banning abortion.

“I personally believe the decision to be a monumental error and a step backward,” Police Commission Chairman William Briggs said during the board’s meeting Tuesday. “It may be the beginning of once again relegating women to second-class citizenship. Simply stated, in my opinion the reversal of Roe v. Wade is wrong.”

Briggs called on the LAPD’s director of constitutional policing to draft a policy “that would forbid the LAPD from enforcing any law enacted by the U.S. Congress that bans abortions.”

“Los Angeles can and should be a sanctuary city for women anywhere who seek an abortion,” Briggs said.

Any such policy would have to be approved by the commission.

Meanwhile, at City Hall, City Councilwomen Nithya Raman and Nury Martinez introduced a motion that would instruct the City Attorney’s Office to draft an ordinance that would prohibit the use of any resources, including time spent by city employees, to ” detain persons for procuring, providing, or aiding in abortion care in the city of Los Angeles; or cooperate with or provide information to any individual or out-of-state agency or department investigating persons who procure, provide, or aid in abortion care in the city of Los Angeles.”

They note in the motion that more than 20 states are set to ban abortions outright, and some are considering laws that would criminalize people who travel to other states for abortions.

“The city of Los Angeles is committed to protecting everyone who seeks abortions in our city and will continue to advocate for reproductive rights,” their motion states. “A study by UCLA’s Center on Reproductive Health, Law and Policy estimates that 8,000 to 16,000 more people will travel to California each year for abortion care. Los Angeles will thus likely begin to see an inflow of people seeking access to abortion care within our city boundaries.

“It is imperative that we put in place mechanisms to protect those coming to our city by ensuring that no city resources are utilized to detain persons procuring, performing, or aiding in abortion care or to cooperate with out-of-state investigations.”

The motion was referred to the council’s Budget and Finance Committee.

Councilman Mike Bonin, meanwhile, introduced a resolution that would call on the city to support any state or federal legislation or initiative “that use federal resources and property to preserve and increase access to reproductive and abortion rights.”

That resolution will be heard by the council’s Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

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