Nicholas Goldberg: Karen Bass says she’ll protect Angelenos’ abortion rights. But can the mayor of L.A. really do that?
With a history like hers, Angelenos are understandably skeptical of politicians who say they want to be judged by the public not by the Supreme Court or by lobbyists.
Mayor and City Councilman Eric Garcetti, on the other hand, has consistently shown that he believes his actions should be judged by the public not by the courts or by lobbyists and that he will not be judged by the court.
I don’t intend to belabor the point. That will be done in the coming weeks in an article on the controversy over the state of women’s reproductive health in California.
Today, I want to focus on one of Mayor Garcetti’s biggest and most controversial moves: to protect the right of Angelenos to have an abortion without interference. He did that last week when, on the last day of the two-year countdown for the upcoming election, he signed an “Employee Protection Act.”
It would make it illegal for any city, city agency or department, hospital or school in the city of Los Angeles to interfere with an abortion, which is already illegal in Los Angeles.
Councilman Matt Haney (whose district includes West L.A.) and I, along with a few other Westside women, have asked the mayor to veto the bill.
Haney and I have argued that the law does nothing to improve the situation of women in West L.A. or to improve access to abortion services in the city.
And of course, the law does nothing to protect an unborn baby from assault, the reason Angelenos are pro-life. In fact, the law protects employers, physicians and hospitals from being held liable if they “interfere” with an abortion.
That’s like a city saying, “We, the City of Los Angeles, are against abortion. But if we refuse to allow you to be sued for interfering with medical decisions, we will be held liable.”
That’s not to say it’s all good. Because if the bill gets a vote in city council, the city of Los Angeles and the city of Los Angeles agencies and departments would remain open for business. No one