COUNCIL PRESIDENT PRO TEM SHENG THAO, VICE MAYOR REBECCA KAPLAN, PRESIDENT NIKKI FORUNATO BAS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD, NARAL PRO CHOICE AMERICA, AND OAKLAND LEADERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON DECLARING OAKLAND A PRO-CHOICE SANCTUARY CITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 5/17/2022
SEE VIDEO HERE
Brandon Harami, Council Aide
OAKLAND, California - Today, Council President Pro Tem Sheng Thao, Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, President Nikki Forunato Bas, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice California, and Assemblymember Mia Bonta’s office at the front of City Hall advocating for the passage of a resolution declaring Oakland a Pro-Choice Sanctaury City. This resolution was passed unanimously by the Oakland City Council today.
This resolution, which was introduced by Thao, Bas, and Kaplan, puts Oakland on record as a city that celebrates abortion-access, reaffirms its support of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe V Wade into federal law, and advocates for more state and county funding to be provided to reproductive care providers in anticipation to an iflux of out-of-state patients.
Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao states:
“The passage of this resolution makes Oakland the first City in California to declare itself a Sanctuary City for Abortion Access and is the first step we will be taking to expand abortion access to anyone who needs it. Healthcare is a human right, and the City of Oakland stands firmly behind anyone exercising their right to reproductive care.
“This resolution says to women across the country, who are under attack, that your rights will be protected here. Your autonomy, your agency, your access will be protected here. And
those who would threaten or harass you will not be tolerated or enabled here in Oakland.”
Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas States:
"“With this resolution, Oakland reaffirms loud and clear our fierce commitment to our values of freedom, justice, and honoring each person’s dignity and sovereignty to choose what is healthiest and safest for their body. I am proud to co-author this effort, and committed to working with my colleagues and urging other jurisdictions not only to protect abortion access, but to significantly expand the inclusiveness, capacity, and quality of reproductive health services for all who need them in our community.”
Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan States:
“I am honored to co-author this resolution, committing to fight to ensure reproductive freedom. Make no mistake, the Supreme Court is threatening to turn back the clock. They are threatening our rights and fundamental liberty. The laws that guarantee the right to reproductive freedom are the same laws that ensure the right to contraception, the right for LGBTQ+ people to be allowed to live and love as we choose, and privacy and racial justice. Let us continue to move forward, not backwards, as we work to protect human liberty and advanced justice in our communities.
It is vital that reproductive freedom be protected in law, and also be actually available. That is why our resolution also calls for increased funding for reproductive health services to ensure all those in need can get them.”
Dr. Jessica Hamilton - Associate Medical Director of Abortion Services for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte States:
“While we have been preparing for a post-Roe world for years, the news of the SCOTUS leak has been heart-wrenching for those of us on the front lines. No patient or physician has ever asked for a politician to be in the exam room with them.
Since SB 8 (the heartbeat bill) went into effect in Texas in September, we have watched California remain a beacon of hope for people seeking abortions. At Planned Parenthood Mar Monte alone, between July 2021 and April 15, 2022, we have provided care abortion care to twice the number of patients from out of state than we did during the same time period the previous year. The reversal of Roe could drive up the number of out-of-state patients whose nearest abortion provider would be in California to 1.4 million! And while no patient should have to travel for care, at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, we have been building capacity and are ready to support this increase in patients seeking care in California, especially in major transportation hubs and sanctuary cities like Oakland.
It is imperative that our leaders understand that abortion care is health care, and is a personal matter that should be left to a patient and their healthcare provider. We commend Councilmember Thao’s emergency legislation to make Oakland a right-to-choose sanctuary city for abortion access and echo the call for the state of California to ensure adequate funding for reproductive healthcare. Thank you for standing with us as we defend essential health care for everyone, no matter what.”