As California Strengthens Abortion Protections, SoCal Leader Proposes ‘Sanctuary City' For the Unborn

The proposal was shot down by the Temecula City Council in a 4-1 vote, but not before more than an hour of public testimony that was often interrupted by crowd applause and outbursts

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California is one step closer to becoming a sanctuary state for abortion access, but a Temecula councilwoman is drawing attention for proposing an abortion ban within city limits.

On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed more than a dozen new abortion laws, including some that clash with restrictions in other states. Together, the laws improve access to abortions as well as strengthen privacy safeguards for patients.

Hours later, Temecula City Councilwoman Jessica Alexander proposed a city resolution that she said would have created a "sanctuary city" for the unborn, had it passed.

"By creating this resolution, we are taking a stand for life and holding it up sacred," Alexander said. "This upholds the foundation for what Temecula has stood for and has been built on."

The proposal was shot down by the council in a 4-1 vote, but not before more than an hour of public testimony that was often interrupted by crowd applause and outbursts.

"Abortion and fatherlessness are a vicious circle," one speaker said. "Abortion leads to fatherlessness and fatherlessness leads to abortion. This is extremely destructive to any society."

'You need to keep your personal opinions and beliefs to yourself," another speaker told Alexander. "There is a rule in America that says there is separation of church and state, so keep your church and religion out of city politics."

Citizens in support of the proposal formed a prayer circle outside of the meeting.

"A resolution is not law. We want a resolution that states that life is sacred and that the unborn are safe here," resolution supporter and CEO of Birth Choice Centers, Janette Chun said.

Others against the resolution told NBC 7 they were relieved by the council's action.

"It is a disappointment but we are thankful for just doing the right thing," resident Keith Trask said.

"Abortions are legal," Dawn Murray-Sibby added. "I don’t think it needs to be made a statement in Temecula, or any city about that."

The resolution doesn’t move forward for now but the mayor, who was against it, says he expects it could come up again.

UC San Diego political scientist Thad Kousser said a city doesn't have the power to override state law.

"This would not change the reality on the ground for any resident of the city of Temecula. The state attorney general Rob Bonta was very clear about that today," Kousser said. "The laws that the California Legislature passed this year and Governor Gavin Newsom just signed into law today, those are the governing law of the land that will guarantee access to abortion rights to Californians, no matter which city they live in."

Kousser also said he doesn't expect the laws passed Tuesday to cause a rush of people coming to California to seek protected abortions because its neighboring states have similar laws.

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