On May 15, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law HB 314, which prohibits abortion in nearly all circumstances. Testimony from legislators and news reports make it clear that the law, which is clearly unconstitutional, is an attempt to bring an abortion case to the United States Supreme Court and overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case. In response to this attack on reproductive rights and economic justice, today the Board of Supervisors approved a motion, authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Kuehl, that imposes a one year travel restriction to the State of Alabama for official LA County business, except for emergencies and other limited situations.
“This challenge by Alabama and other states would overturn decades of precedent. It is an attack not only confined to the residents of those states, but an act of aggression upon all of us,” said Supervisor Solis. “We must stand in solidarity and in opposition against extremist and unconstitutional laws that put the health and wellbeing of families at risk. 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. Today’s vote sends a strong signal that infringing upon an individual’s rights to reproductive health and privacy are not American values.”
Today’s action implements a travel restriction for official LA County business to the State of Alabama except for 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 motion also orders a letter to be sent to the Governor and Alabama Legislative Leaders that communicates LA County’s opposition to HB 314, informs about the County’s travel restriction, and calls for the law’s immediate repeal. Another letter will be sent to the Governors and legislative leaders of Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah communicating LA County’s opposition to legislation that restricts access to abortion, and calls for the immediate repeal of any laws that restrict access to abortion.
“Everyone knows that banning abortion won’t stop women from accessing abortion services even when it puts them in unsafe medical situations,” said L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “In Alabama, women who have the money will be able to safely access abortion, but women who are poor will not. Women across the country must resist legislation that will limit reproductive choices that are essential to every woman’s health.”
Today’s motion also directs the Chief Executive Office and County Counsel to monitor legislative and judicial actions regarding abortion restrictions, and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors about legal opportunities to participate as amicus or plaintiff in the various lawsuits challenging the imposition of HB 314 and other similar laws that seek to prohibit and/or limit the constitutional right to abortion.