California attorney general warns Temecula not to pass abortion ban

California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta speaks at a press conference.
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, shown in April, warned the Temecula City Council against an attempt to override California law guaranteeing abortion access.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta warned there will be “legal action” against the Temecula City Council if it passes an abortion ban in the city in an attempt to override state law.

Bonta’s office sent a letter to the council Friday, stating that local legislation that goes against state law is considered “void.”

“The California Legislature and the California Supreme Court have declared time and again that California is a reproductive freedom state and that Californians have a right to access abortion,” the letter read. “In 1981, the California Supreme Court held that ‘all women in this state rich and poor alike possess a fundamental constitutional right to choose whether or not to bear a child.’”

The letter stressed that Bonta “takes seriously his obligation to protect Californians’ right to reproductive freedom” and won’t “hesitate to take legal action should a local regulation conflict with California state law.”

Proposition 1 would amend the state Constitution to add protections for abortion rights.

Sept. 23, 2022


Councilwoman Jessica Alexander, the director of Temecula’s Birth Choice Center who proposed earlier this month a resolution barring abortions, asked the council to discuss the resolution at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

“Let Temecula be known as a safe haven, not as an abortion sanctuary. Let the world know that Temecula stands for life from womb to tomb,” Alexander said during the Sept. 13 meeting.

A resolution “declaring Temecula a sanctuary city for Temecula’s unborn” is on the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting, but it will involve a discussion on whether to include the proposal on a future City Council agenda.

State lawmakers have prepared in the last year for the potential fallout of Roe vs. Wade being overturned by fortifying California’s abortion protections and developing a plan for the state to become a sanctuary for those denied abortion services in other states.

In the two months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, Republican candidates have been noticeably quiet on the abortion issue.

Aug. 29, 2022

California voters will also decide Nov. 8 on Proposition 1, an amendment to the state’s Constitution guaranteeing the right to abortion and contraception. A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll released last month showed 7 in 10 California voters support the constitutional amendment.

A similar antiabortion resolution was proposed last month by San Clemente City Councilman Steve Knoblock, but the council voted 3 to 1 to withdraw the proposal from an upcoming meeting’s agenda.

Alexander said during the last Temecula City Council meeting that she opposes Assembly Bill 1666, which was signed into law in June and created liability protections for California abortion providers who provide care to patients traveling from areas where abortion is banned or access has been restricted.

She also opposes Assembly Bill 2223, which would bar a coroner from holding an inquest after a fetal death, including in cases in which a stillbirth was believed to have been caused by drugs. It was passed and sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his approval two weeks ago.

A little-noticed bill that gives social media companies a way to avoid turning over private communications in abortion prosecutions is headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Aug. 31, 2022

Members of Temecula’s Birth Choice Center spoke out against abortion during the last council meeting.

“We’re going to be bringing citizens from other states, 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,” said Janette Chun, chief executive of Birth Choice.