Councilwoman Proposes Abortion Ban for Temecula

Local pol Jessica Alexander suggested her tony town become an anti-abortion bunker within a statewide safe abortion sanctuary

A member of the Temecula city council floated a novel usage of the phrase “safe haven” this week, recommending a city-wide ban on abortion within California’s safe haven for women who come here from states that have outlawed the procedure.

“Let Temecula be known as a safe haven,” Councilwoman Jessica Alexander said at Tuesday’s meeting, the Los Angeles Times reports. “Not as an abortion sanctuary.” She urged her colleagues to “let the world know that Temecula stands for life from womb to tomb.” As well as fine golf courses and Cabernets, presumably.

Like last month’s failed effort in San Clemente, Alexander’s proposal aims to make Temecula a kind of inverse sanctuary within a sanctuary, following Governor Gavin Newsom’s pledge to make California safe for those seeking abortions in a post-Roe United States.

Since Newsom’s policy is likely to stand in this blue state, city-wide bans in California would have little practical effect, although, judging from the Temecula and San Clemente city council meetings, they give opportunities for oratory and semantic turf wars.

When San Clemente City Councilman Steve Knoblok made the same proposal for his city, he too declared San Clemente a “sanctuary for life,” adding that he opposed clinics that provide abortions and informing his fellow residents that life begins at conception.

At Tecumula’s council meeting, Alexander specifically opposed Newsome’s Assembly Bill 1666, now a law providing liability protections for California abortion providers when providing care to patients who traveled from areas where abortion is banned or access has been restricted. She also opposed Assembly Bill 2223, which would bar a coroner from holding an inquest after a fetal death, including in cases of stillborn in which drug use is suspected.

“I know there are some who would question whether protecting our unborn is a state matter, or a city issue,” Alexander said “This is our city, and what happens in our city is our responsibility.”

Janette Chun, CEO of the similarly confusing organization, Birth Choice, managed to fit anti-immigrant sentiment into the anti-choice discussion. “We’re going to be bringing citizens from other states,” she said, “possibly even Canada and Mexico into California and our taxpayer dollars are going to pay for the slaughter of innocent human beings that we did not say we wanted.”

On Nov. 8, California’s will vote on Proposition 1, which would amend the state constitution guaranteeing the right to contraception and abortion. According to a poll by UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, the measure is favored by seven in ten state voters.

At next month’s Temecula City Council meeting, Alexander’s proposal will be on the agenda, leaving members to ponder whether to join nuclear-free Berkeley in putting purely symbolic laws on the books.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign for our newsletters today