|(June 19, 2019) -- Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia moved it to the first order of business at the City Council's June 18 meeting. Lead agendizer Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce boasted that WAAY-TV/31 (Huntsville, Alabama) was watching the Council webcast. It was a Council item (agendized by Pearce joined by Price, Austin and Richardson) to denounce recently enacted anti-abortion legislation enacted in Alabama and Georgia that pro-choice supporters believe will be used to seek to overturn the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade (1973) which cited constitutional grounds to prevent states from banning abortions and put limits on states' abilities to restrict it.
The Council vote was 6-0 -- with Councilwoman Mungo absent from the meeting's opening through the vote and entering roughly 20 seconds after the vote (with Richardson absent for the entire meeting and the 1st dist. vacant) -- on an item denouncing Georgia's "Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act" (which bans abortions if a doctor can detect a heartbeat) and Alabama's "Human Life Protection Act" (that bans abortions at any stage of pregnancy.)
The Council action also authorized LB's City Manager to "suspend all travel, contracts, etc. from the states of Georgia and Alabama, so long as the bills become law" and would:
1. Requests the City Attorney to prepare a resolution for adoption denouncing Georgia's Living Infants Fairness and Equality (Life) act (HB 481) and Alabama's hb314,immediately suspending official travel to Georgia, Alabama and any other state which adopts similar heartbeat legislation and imposing financial sanctions until such time as the new law is revoked, amended, or struck down".
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The Councilmembers' agendizing memo stated in pertinent part:
The City of Long Beach has a track record of supporting women's rights and reproductive health. It has continually supported state and federal legislation protecting and advancing women's reproductive rights, access to healthcare, and funds for preventative health care services. Opposition to Georgia's HB 481 and similar anti-abortion legislation that serves to eliminate a woman's right to choose and hinder the availability of reproductive healthcare is in line with the City's long-standing values and legislative priorities. The City has taken similar action to suspend travel to states that have adopted legislation that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression - such as North Carolina's HB2 - or legislation that is anti immigration - such as Arizona's SB 1070.
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