State Watch

Los Angeles County votes to ban travel to Alabama over abortion law

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this week to impose a one-year restriction on travel to the state of Alabama for official county business in response to a new law in the Southern state that bans abortion in nearly all cases, including instances of rape and incest.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who authored the motion to restrict travel to the state, said in a statement that Alabama's new anti-abortion law is an "attack not only confined to the residents of those states, but an act of aggression upon all of us."

"We must stand in solidarity and in opposition against extremist and unconstitutional laws that put the health and wellbeing of families at risk," Solis said. "The constitutional and human right to a safe and legal abortion is part of the very fabric of the United States."

"As such, Los Angeles County will stand against all attempts to dismantle the protections afforded by Roe v. Wade and the U.S. Constitution," she continued, adding that the board's vote to move ahead with the travel restriction "sends a strong signal that infringing upon an individual's rights to reproductive health and privacy are not American values."

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who co-authored the motion, also said in a statement that "women across the country must resist legislation that will limit reproductive choices that are essential to every woman's health."

"Everyone knows that banning abortion won't stop women from accessing abortion services even when it puts them in unsafe medical situations," she also said.

Under the motion, Solis's office said that those on official L.A. County business would be restricted from traveling to Alabama except in cases of "emergency response, training, or assistance, or other legally-required matters where the failure to authorize such travel would seriously harm the County's interests."

The office said that the motion also orders that a letter be sent to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R), who signed the anti-abortion legislation into law last week, and the state's legislative leaders expressing the board's opposition to the bill and urging its repeal.

Additionally, the office said that a similar letter will be sent to governors and legislative leaders in other states that have passed or advanced restrictive abortion bills in recent months, including Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Utah.

Last week, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said that her staff was also banned from traveling to the state following the passage of its near-total abortion ban.