Palm Springs City Council approves resolution declaring the city a safe community for reproductive freedom and access to abortion

PALM SPRINGS — One of the most progressive governing boards in the Coachella Valley, the Palm Springs City Council, on a 5-0, vote adopted a resolution Thursday, July 14 declaring the community a safe city for reproductive freedom and access to abortion.

The item was on the consent calendar with an “approve” recommendation but was pulled for separate discussion to underscore its significance. A representative of The Palm Springs Police Department expressed the department’s support for the city being a “safe city” for access to abortion.

The resolution was brought forward at the request of Councilmember Christy Holstege.

Abortion Access Gains Support in Palm Springs

Councilmember Christy Holstege

“We have been seeing patients that are coming to this region in the Coachella Valley to access abortion and other reproductive healthcare and we know those numbers are just going to continue to increase,” Councilmember Christy Holstege, who served as a Board member of Planned Parenthood of the Southwest for the past six years, told Uken Report.

“I believe it’s important to do the work to make sure patients know about this, that this isn’t just a resolution that looks nice, but the City of Palm Springs is actually doing our part to ensure that people can access health care, including abortion services,” Holstege said “Patients who need access to abortion should not face shame and overwhelming hurdles to get the healthcare they need. It is more important than ever for states and local jurisdictions to stand firmly in supporting everyone’s right to decide if and when to start a family. Now is the time for Palm Springs to lead with compassion and courage.”

In May, the San Diego City Council voted 8-0 on a Resolution Declaring San Diego a Safe City for
Reproductive Freedom and Access to Abortion. San Diego is reportedly he first city in the nation to adopt a resolution declaring a safe city for reproductive freedom and access to abortion.

As background for the resolution, in 1973, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant person’s liberty to choose whether to terminate a
pregnancy or not.

Nearly 50 years later, on June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned this decision, removing individual reproductive freedom and granting states the authority to ban or restrict abortions. Many
states have already passed laws that would prohibit abortions at various stages of pregnancy. Restricting abortions can have devastating impacts on disadvantaged communities that already have barriers to accessing healthcare. Restrictive laws that limit safe and legal abortions force individuals to endure unwanted pregnancies or seek dangerous alternative options, according to a staff report in defense of the resolution.

Access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion, is a human right that should not be restricted or denied, according to the proposed resolution. Even with Roe v. Wade in place, systemic racism and discrimination placed abortion largely out of reach for many disadvantaged communities, the resolution states.

More than half of the states in our nation may move to ban abortion entirely.

The city of Palm Springs should serve as a model and commit to support and defend the right to reproductive freedom and safe access to abortion services, the resolution states.

The proposed document adds that the city of “Palm Springs will continue to uphold equality and liberty by protecting reproductive freedom and access to abortion services, welcoming anyone to Palm Springs to fully exercise their reproductive rights … this action demonstrates the city of Palm Springs’ strong
commitment to safe and legal abortion access.


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  • Christy Holstege: Christy Holstege
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