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Board of Education Votes to Support a Woman’s Right to Choose and Oppose Abortion Bans (5-21-19)



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        May 21, 2019
Shannon Haber, 213-241-6766


Board of Education Votes to Support a Woman’s
Right to Choose and Oppose Abortion Bans

LOS ANGELES (May 21, 2019) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted to support a woman’s right to choose and speak out against the recent anti-choice movement. This action comes after the governor of Alabama signed into law a ban on abortion in almost every circumstance. Lawmakers in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Utah also have passed new anti-abortion bills, and similar measures are pending in other states.

“We stand with the women across the nation whose constitutional rights are being jeopardized,” Board President Mónica García said. “The health and well-being of women must be prioritized, and we strongly challenge this violation of women’s freedom and reproductive rights. If you are being affected by the recent anti-choice state laws, please know that you are not alone in this fight. Our children are counting us to be our absolute best selves.”

“I’m proud to co-sponsor this resolution and take a stand against abortion bans that deny women’s access to healthcare and right to choose,” Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said. “The work we undertake at Los Angeles Unified values the sanctity of our children more than any of these bans.”

"Like women across the country, I have been angered by states’ efforts to subvert a woman’s right to choose,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “It’s only by raising our collective voices that we will able to push back against these radical and reactionary bans in order protect our health and our rights.”

“The growing movement to deny women the ability to make personal choices about their reproductive health is a frightening assault on the dignity and self-determination of all women and well-established legal principles,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “These cruel and dehumanizing bans must not be allowed to become law.”

“Women must be able to decide what happens to our bodies,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “We who were alive before Roe v. Wade, remind all the men passing these misogynist laws, women will still have abortions, only now they would be unsafe and would cause death and destruction.”

“It is important that we add nuance, and how deliberate this bill is to the destruction of reproductive health, not just for white women but also for black and brown women,” Student Board Member Tyler Okeke said. “Historically, black women have been told what to do with their bodies for so long through involuntarily sterilization, and the rolling back of their right to choose what to do with their bodies.”

“Peace Over Violence supports everyone's autonomy over their own bodies,” said Patti Giggans, executive director, Peace Over Violence, a community group that launched “Denim Day,” which recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and works to prevent sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence. “Women, trans, and non-binary people decide for themselves, with an inalienable right to choose what is healthy, safe and best for them. End of story."