FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Two Fresno Councilmembers promised to help protect women’s right to abortion locally should Roe v. Wade be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The promise happened during the Planned Parenthood kicked off its “Powered in Pink” bus tour at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno.
The stop was the first public stop in the tour that is rallying for women’s abortion right across the state.
The message from the organizers is that if Roe vs. Wade is overturned there is a plan.
“We have been preparing for this decision”, said Planned Parenthood Mar Monte CEO Stacy Cross. “When it came out, was I surprised? No. Was I disgusted and angered? Yes!”
Cross stood next to Councilmember Esmerelda Soria, Council President Nelson Esparza, and a local rabbi in front of a neon pink bus painted with the words “Say Abortion”.
“Everything that I have worked for is at risk with the Supreme Court because they are taking rights away and impacting democracy.”
The leaked draft opinion strikes down the right to abortion on a federal level, leaving it up to the states to regulate. Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Attorney General proposed that California could become a haven state.
About a dozen bills headed to the state legislature would protect abortion rights, build new clinics, and provide funding to help women travel to the state to have an abortion.
“Our doors are going to continue to be open,” said Cross.
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is the largest Planned Parenthood center in the nation that oversees 30 centers and over 200,000 patients each year in Central California and Nevada including the Central Valley and Fresno.
Esparza and Soria plan to advocate for land use applications for extra facilities to keep up with the demand.
“It really is about capacity and making sure we are ready,” said Esparza.
Right to Life Central California CEO John Gerardi believes the focus should be on prenatal care for mothers instead of funding for out-of-state abortions.
“Some states when they have a surplus they give it back to the taxpayers but here we fund everyone in the nation to have an abortion. It is wildly out of touch,” said Gerardi.
The bus tour will continue across the state and will end at Long Beach on the 25th.