The city of San Francisco no longer will do business with 22 states that have “restrictive” anti-abortion laws under a new ordinance that was implemented Wednesday.
The Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance in July. It applies both to the city and county of San Francisco.
San Francisco previously passed an ordinance prohibiting business in states that have what it considers anti-LGBT laws.
“Every day in this country, women’s reproductive rights are threatened, and we have to fight back,” Mayor London N. Breed said. “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.”
The ordinance, he added, sends “a clear message to states that disregard the right to abortion.” It prohibits city-funded travel to those states – and contracts with companies headquartered in those states.
Anti-abortion laws are those that “restrict abortion before viability of the fetus to live outside of the womb, including fetal heartbeat laws,” according to a press release.
“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.”
The 22 states 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.
Ten states with “discriminatory laws against LGBTQ people” are on a different list, according to the press release. Of those 10, nine are on the new list – meaning the city now prohibits travel to and business with nearly half the country, or 23 states.
The city hopes to “penalize states” with the abortion laws, the press release said.
“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,” it said.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Bart Dunweg/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.