San Francisco Bans City-Paid Travel to States that Restrict Abortion

The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco skyline is seen from the Marin Headlands above Sausalito, Calif., on Oct. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Building on a 2016 ban on city-funded travel to states with anti-LGBT laws, San Francisco officials Tuesday voted unanimously to extend that ban to states with restrictive abortion laws.

“It will expand the existing ordinance to states that have waged war on our constitutionally protected right to an abortion,” San Francisco Supervisor Vallie Brown, who introduced the proposal, said at a board meeting Tuesday.

Five states — Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi — passed laws this year that ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Missouri also enacted a law banning abortions after eight weeks, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a prohibition on all abortions in the state, except when “necessary to prevent a serious health risk” to the woman.

The law approved by San Francisco Tuesday not only bans city-funded travel, it also forbids the city from contracting with companies headquartered in states with restrictive abortion laws or anti-LGBT laws.

Brown said the purpose of the ban is to ensure the city’s economic might aligns with its social values.

“Let’s put our money where our mouth is,” Brown said.

Every supervisor on the city’s 11-member board supported the proposed ordinance as a co-sponsor. Though it was unanimously approved it will require one more board vote before going to the mayor’s office for signature.

In 2018, California passed a law that prohibits state-sponsored travel to states that allow discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. California restricts state-paid travel to Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

Also Tuesday, San Francisco supervisors voted to eliminate library fines for overdue books and forgive $1.57 million in debt for overdue fines. Other counties in the Bay Area, including Contra Costa and San Mateo, have eliminated overdue fines at their libraries.

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