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National coalition of Mayors issues statment on abortion rights


Mayor Eric Garcetti and 10 other mayors from across the country issued the following joint statement this week on abortion rights in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s expected decision to overturn the long-held protections provided by Roe.

The mayors joining Garcetti in signing the statement include Paige Cognetti of Scranton, Pa.; Robert Garcia of Long Beach; Todd Gloria of San Diego; Tishaura Jones of St. Louis, Mo.; Sam Liccardo of San Jose; Lori E. Lightfoot of Chicago, Ill.; Vicente Sarmiento of Santa Ana; Libby Schaaf of Oakland; Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento; and Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, Wis.

“In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s expected decision to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent to protect women’s fundamental right to control their own bodies and access to abortions in the United States, we as mayors affirm to our constituents and residents that our cities will continue to serve as places where women and all people can make their own reproductive decisions.

We commit to using every tool at our disposal as mayors to stand up for women in the face of attempts to deprive them of fundamental rights — and call on our leaders in Congress and our statehouses to reverse the impacts of this decision and protect a woman’s right to choose.

Further, the draft opinion overturning Roe opens the door to the repeal of many privacy-based rights that form the basis of our society and underpin the very concept of American liberty. These freedoms, including the freedom to marry the person you love free of discrimination, are under threat with this decision. We cannot allow this egregious attack on the progress our country has made.

Over the last five decades, Roe and Casey have made a profound and positive impact on the lives of millions of women — particularly young and minority women — and their partners. Access to safe and legal abortion has saved countless lives. American women, for the first time, have been able to plan their reproductive, economic, and social lives — leading to tremendous gains in not just health and personal freedom, but equity and quality of life in our communities.

Put simply: reproductive rights are critical to women’s healthcare and self-determination. By denying this fundamental right to the people of the United States, the Court is not only curtailing an essential freedom to American citizens, but they are also imposing a dangerous and failed policy decision upon millions of Americans. An abortion ban will not stop women from seeking this basic health care, but rather make it illegal and less safe.

We know that planned pregnancies lead to dramatically better outcomes for mothers, children, and families, and that even the widespread use of contraceptives cannot fully eliminate unintended pregnancies.