Council President Martinez, Councilmember O’Farrell Join in Support of Prop 1, Codifying Abortion Access into CA Constitution

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and Council President Pro Tempore Mitch O’Farrell, along with Councilwoman Heather Hutt, put forward legislation today to support Proposition 1, a November ballot initiative to codify abortion access into California’s Constitution. 


“Abortion must be protected in this country and failing to do so denies women the equality we all deserve,” said Council President Nury Martinez. “Californians are unwilling to treat women as less than, and here in Los Angeles, we have been consistent in our commitment to protecting the right to a safe and legal abortion. No one should be forced to care for a child because their state’s legislators want to push personal beliefs onto women in their state.”


Proposition 1 would add the right to an abortion to the California State Constitution, establishing a right to reproductive freedom, among other protections. It would amend the State Constitution to explicitly prohibit the State from denying or interfering with personal choices related to reproductive care and declare that individuals have a fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and to use or refuse contraceptives.


“This is more than a war against women and bodily autonomy. They’re coming after us next. In the LGBTQ+ community, we have fought for decades and won marriage equality and personal privacy rights,” said Council President Pro Tempore Mitch O’Farrell. “This extreme U.S. Supreme Court has signaled to radical right-wing state legislatures and Governors across the country that our fundamental rights can and will be taken away. It is absolutely necessary to enshrine reproductive freedom in our California State Constitution. Ultimately, it must be protected across the nation, and with the passage of Proposition 1, California will lead the way.” 


Proposition 1 will be on the ballot on November 8th, 2022. If passed by voters, the California constitution would be amended immediately, making California the first state to protect abortion access in its constitution. Currently, Vermont is the only other state to put codifying abortion access on the ballot this year. Other states are in the process of bringing this issue to the ballot.


“Today, I, along with my fellow council members, unequivocally stand in support of Proposition 1,” said Councilwoman Heather Hutt. “The ability to access safe and legal abortions is an important basic human right; and the City of Los Angeles will not sit idly by, while women’s rights are being stripped away. I am proud to partner with Council President Martinez and Councilmember O’Farrell on this motion to alter abortion access into California’s Constitution. This proposition will require us all to be unwavering and steadfast in our commitment to speak up in support of reproductive freedom.”


In June 2022, the Supreme Court issued a decision that overturned nearly 50 years of precedent and marked the first time in history that the Supreme Court took away a fundamental right. Thirteen states had trigger laws set to immediately stop abortion care when Roe was overturned, leaving hundreds of thousands of women without access to care, and a dozen more states have since taken action to restrict abortion access.


“Abortion is health care, and all health care decisions should be made solely between an individual and their doctor — a medical expert who is equipped to help patients make the most informed decision about their health,” said Celinda M. Vázquez, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County (PPAP).  “Los Angeles, and California, must always be a place where our essential freedoms are protected. That’s why PPAP is proud to support YES on Proposition 1, to protect access to abortion for generations to come.”


Since the Supreme Court announced their intention to rule on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case, the Los Angeles City Council has taken a number of steps to protect reproductive rights within the city, as well as support initiatives at the statewide and national levels. 


In April, Council President Martinez put forward a motion directing the City’s departments to coordinate with the County in developing a response to a possible increase in demand, including at the City’s transportation hubs. The Council President also requested a report back on the feasibility of allocating funding to help subsidize costs for persons from other states seeking abortion care in Los Angeles.