City Announces Implementation of Supervisor Vallie Brown's Ordinance to Ban Doing Business with States That Have Restrictive Abortion Laws
Following Supervisor Brown’s legislation, the Department on the Status of Women has created a list of 22 states that have severe anti-choice policies, with which the City and County of San Francisco is prohibited from traveling to or contracting with
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Vallie Brown today announced the City of San Francisco has officially adopted a list of twenty-two states with which it will no longer do business because of their severe anti-choice policies. In July, the Board of Supervisors passed Supervisor Brown’s ordinance to ban city-funded travel and contracting to limit San Francisco’s ties to states that have anti-choice and restrictive abortion laws. Of the twenty‑two states on the list, nine were already on the City’s banned list due to anti-LGBT laws.
“Every day in this country, women’s reproductive rights are threatened, and we have to fight back. Just as we restricted spending with states that have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people, we are standing up against states that put women’s health at risk and that are actively working to limit reproductive freedoms,” said Mayor Breed. “By limiting travel and contracting with certain states, we are sending a clear message to states that disregard the right to abortion. I want to thank Supervisor Brown for leading this important effort, and all of the organizations who supported this work.”
“At a time when reproductive rights are being attacked from Washington and state houses across the country, it is imperative that San Francisco step up and fight back,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown. “By restricting travel to states with restrictive abortion laws and that limit access to reproductive health, we are showing our commitment to women, trans men, and nonbinary people in San Francisco and across the country.”
City Administrator Naomi M. Kelly updated the City’s Covered State List, which is a list of states that City officials are prohibited from traveling to on City business. The City is also prohibited from entering into new contracts with companies that are headquartered in any of those states. The travel and contract restrictions for abortion-restrictive states will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Supervisor Vallie Brown’s ordinance bans city-funded travel to states with restrictive abortion laws and prohibits City contracts with companies headquartered in those states. Restrictive abortion laws are defined as those that restrict abortion before viability of the fetus to live outside of the womb, including so-called “fetal heartbeat” laws. San Francisco has long been a leader in the fight for women’s rights, and this legislation is a continuation of those efforts. While a person’s right to choose is under legal threat and attack from the Trump administration, San Francisco is voicing its support for women’s health and reproductive freedom.
“In recent years, states across the country have passed a growing number of restrictive abortion laws. In accordance with Supervisor Brown’s ordinance, we identified state laws that prohibit abortion before viability and have recommended that these states be added to the City Administrator’s list,” said Dr. Emily Murase, Director of the Department of the Status of Women. “If any company that is headquartered in the listed states wants to continue doing business with the City, we encourage them to stand up for reproductive rights and advocate for a change to their state law. We applaud Supervisor Brown for her leadership in authoring this ordinance and for continuing San Francisco’s long history of fighting for women’s rights.”
Following a review of state laws, the Department on the Status of Women found twenty-two states that have restrictive abortion laws. The states they identified are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Department on the Status of Women issued their recommendations to the City Administrator’s Office, which today added those states to the list of states on the 12X prohibition list. Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas were already on the City Administrator’s list due to their discriminatory LGBTQ laws and policies.
“Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Breed and Supervisor Brown, San Francisco is showing other cities and states how to stand up against dangerous laws that restrict a woman’s right to control her own body,” said Gilda Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood Northern California. “Now, more than ever, we must work to expand, not ban, reproductive rights for all.”
This ordinance recognizes that San Francisco has influence in how it chooses to direct City resources. Other states benefit financially in the form of tax revenue when the City of San Francisco travels there or does business with a company headquartered there. By restricting travel and contracts with certain states, the City is able to financially penalize states that have restrictive abortion laws. Although tax revenue from San Francisco alone may not be sufficient to encourage states to rethink their laws, if other cities and states follow San Francisco’s lead, the financial pressure might be enough to prompt policy changes.
San Francisco has implemented a similar travel and contract ban for states that have discriminatory laws against LGBTQ people, following legislation from then-Supervisor Scott Wiener. The State of California then adopted a similar statewide travel ban.