Much like the mayor and Board of Supervisors did in 2016 as southern states enacted transphobic and anti-LGBT laws, District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown is proposing new legislation Tuesday that would ban city-funded travel to and future contracts with states that pass anti-choice legislation.
The number of red states passing highly restrictive laws around abortion in order to spur a Supreme Court fight over Roe v. Wade has ballooned in recent months, and now San Francisco may make a statement of its own when it comes to tolerating discrimination and laws that disproportionately affect women's bodies.
Brown announced her proposed legislation Tuesday, as SF Weekly reports, though it is still being drafted and won't be introduced at today's weekly meeting of the Board. "We feel protected [in San Francisco]," Brown tells the Weekly, "but when the health of women across the country are in jeopardy, us women in San Francisco need to stand up and say, ‘No.’ "
Today I’m calling on the City Attorney to draft legislation limiting the City of San Francisco from doing business with states that ban abortion: We won’t fund disrespect. We won’t fund discrimination. And we will stand up to policies that put women in danger. pic.twitter.com/Sso3vskPLu— Vallie Brown (@VallieBrownD5) May 21, 2019
Similar to the 2016 ordinance signed by then Mayor Ed Lee which banned publicly funded travel to North Carolina — in the wake of that state's transphobic "bathroom ban" — the new law would likely ban non-essential travel to states like Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri that have passed partial bans on abortion, some with huge prison penalties for doctors who perform them. The state of California also has a similar travel ban, enacted in 2016, directed at 10 states with laws that are discriminatory to LGBTQ people: Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.
The SF ban on anti-abortion states would be even broader and would also include Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
Barring procurement of goods from these states could have significant economic impacts. As the Weekly reports, the City Administrator’s office is currently examining what contracts or purchases are made from the potential ban list.
Brown, it should be noted, was appointed to the Board to fill the D5 seat vacated when London Breed became mayor, and she is up for election in November.