Respect Accessibility

San Diego lawmakers approve resolution for city to become abortion safe haven

“No matter what happens with the Supreme Court ruling, no matter who you are or where you come from, no matter the color of your skin or your socioeconomic status, I want everyone to know that you are welcome in the City of San Diego to exercise your reproductive rights,” said San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn.
Abortion-rights protesters march through Mission Dolores Park on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in San Francisco. Noah Berger/ AP

Story at a glance


  • The San Diego City Council passed a resolution declaring it a safe city for reproductive freedom and access to abortion. 

  • California has been doubling down on its commitment to abortion access ever since a draft opinion was leaked and showed the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. 

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would work to enshrine the right to choose in the California constitution.  

San Francisco is doubling down on its commitment to abortion care, with its city council announcing a resolution declaring San Diego a safe city for reproductive freedom and access to abortion. 

In a unanimous vote by San Diego City Councilmembers, a resolution was passed affirming the city’s commitment to safe and legal abortion access even if the 1973 ruling on Roe v Wade is overturned. The resolution cites San Diego’s responsibility as the second-largest city in California to “serve as a model and commit to support and defend the right to reproductive freedom and safe access to abortion services.” 

The resolution also noted that if the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade, as many as 26 states may move to ban abortion entirely. There are 13 states with trigger laws in place that will immediately take effect if Roe is struck down. 

“No matter what happens with the Supreme Court ruling, no matter who you are or where you come from, no matter the color of your skin or your socioeconomic status, I want everyone to know that you are welcome in the City of San Diego to exercise your reproductive rights,” said San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn in a statement

“I want all San Diegans who are scared and frustrated about this potential ruling to know that you have members of this city council and a mayor that have your back, and we will not back down.” 


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Abortion access was thrust into the national spotlight after a majority draft opinion from the Supreme Court was leaked in early May by Politico. It showed the court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade — which protects the federal right to an abortion. 

According to the San Diego City Council, it’s the first city to adopt such a resolution declaring a city safe for reproductive freedom and access to abortion.  

California has been doubling down on its support of abortion access. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors was considering voting in support of legislation that would establish a reproductive health pilot program where patients have safe access to abortions, regardless of their residency.  

On the heels of the Supreme Court draft opinion leak, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) said he would work with state senators to “enshrine the right to choose in the California constitution.” 

Other cities and states have made similar commitments in wake of the court’s leaked opinion. 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) held a press conference to address abortion access in his state saying “let me be clear, no matter what atrocious opinion the Supreme Court officially rolls out this summer in regards to Roe v Wade, abortion is safe and legal in Illinois.” 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) reiterated a similar sentiment saying “As mayor, I have one message to anyone worried about access to abortion care…Chicago’s doors are open. We unequivocally respect you and your choices.” 

Connecticut legislators also approved a bill that expands abortion rights and care in the state, while also preventing state and local agencies from cooperating in investigations and prosecutions of abortion providers in the state, as well as preventing an out-of-state patient’s medical records from being disclosed. 


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