San Clemente City Council Considers Banning Abortion

Planned Parenthood, a prime target of the proposed resolution, is mobilizing opposition, and has a powerful ally in Mayor Gene James

The San Clemente City Council is set to consider a resolution outlawing abortion this month.

The Los Angeles Times obtained a copy of Councilman Steven Knoblock’s proposal declaring the Orange County city a “sanctuary for life,” and reports that it will be discussed at the next council meeting on August 16.

“The City of San Clemente stands in agreement with the Supreme Court of the United States’ recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and appreciate the Court’s decision to provide respect to state and local governments by allowing them to decide if the lives of our unborn will be protected,” the resolution states.

“The City Council of San Clemente considers life to begin at conception,” the document continues. “This is proven by the multiplication of cells which is evidence that life is forming and a separate living human being is beginning to develop.”

Punishment and enforcement isn’t specified beyond stating the city council can “enforce this resolution by all means within its power and authority,” though Knoblock’s proposal allows for government neutrality in instances of rape and incest, as well as “emergency medical interventions performed to protect the life of the mother and/or unborn.”

The resolution “stands firmly against the presence” of Planned Parenthood in the city, as well as “any other clinics where abortion is practiced at will and on demand,” and “stands firmly against any medications which cause a miscarriage.”

Additionally, the proposal declares that “the City Council of San Clemente supports the use of the abortion pill reversal protocol by protecting doctors who prescribe this treatment at the request of their patients.”

The Times reports that Planned Parenthood’s public affairs project manager for Orange County, Andrea Schmidt, is leading mobilization to oppose the resolution she calls “extremely dangerous.”

She told the Times, “If this resolution does pass, it will send a message to San Clemente residents that their local government does not support their fundamental right to control their own body and access quality, affordable healthcare.”

Although San Clemente Mayor Gene James seconded the motion of drafting the resolution at last month’s City Council meeting, he told the Times he was “appalled” and “embarrassed” while reading the resolution draft late last week:

“It appears to me to be a document that could have been written by a Taliban tribunal, and I’ll say that as a conservative, pro-life Republican.”

Mayor James added, “Mr. Knoblock was making medical statements that simply were not accurate. The fact is, California is a state where abortion is legal and there’s nothing the San Clemente City Council can do about that regardless of whether we are pro-life or pro-choice.”

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