The San Diego Women's March at Waterfront Park on Jan. 19, 2019. / Photo by Vito Di Stefano

Saying it’s been a hard week for women across the nation would be an understatement. 

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, allowing states to prohibit abortion before fetal viability. Many states are moving to outlaw a woman’s rights to their own reproductive choices, with 26 states certain or likely to ban abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

California, however, is moving in the opposite direction

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the governors of Oregon and Washington last week announced a joint West Coast “commitment to reproductive freedom.”  

“We will not sit on the sidelines and allow patients who seek reproductive care in our states or the doctors that provide that care to be intimidated with criminal prosecution,” Newsom said in a video. “We refuse to go back and we will fight like hell to protect our rights and our values.” 

Local leaders have also stepped up. Here’s what you should know about what’s happening in San Diego: 

  1. San Diego leaders have also pledged to preserve reproductive freedom in California, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, who joined mayors from across the country to issue a joint statement on abortion rights. “This is a dark day for our nation,” he wrote in a press release after the decision. 
  2. San Diego and Imperial counties are bracing for an influx of women from outside California seeking abortions. Early this week, the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest told KPBS that she’d seen a 100 percent increase in bookings in the days leading up to the decision. As of Wednesday, Arizona women have scheduled 175 appointments at its various locations, reports the Union-Tribune. 
  3. San Diego’s Toni Atkins, the president of the state Senate, put forward a state Constitutional amendment to ensure the right to an abortion is ingrained in the state’s governing document, not just its laws. Voters will now have the choice in November to put the right to “reproductive freedom” in the California Constitution. It would ensure only voters, through a separate amendment, could ever take it out. 

We want to hear from you. If you have a story you’d like to share, email me at

What We’re Working On 

  • The county approved a new $7.35 billion budget which goes into effect July 1. It largely focuses on the region’s homelessness crisis, mental health services and adding more county staffers. Our amazing intern Catherine Allen rounded up what you need to know
  • Lisa Halverstadt last week shared a detailed profile of one family’s struggle with homelessness in San Diego. Now, we’ve got some good news: With the help of an emergency housing voucher and the Housing Commission, the family of six have been approved for a three-bedroom apartment in Mission Valley. Following Halverstadt’s reporting, the City Council has also voted to expand services at safe parking lots — one service that was especially hard for the family. 
  • Earlier this month, San Diego Unified leaders announced they would offer $10,000 dollar signing bonuses for new special education teachers and nurses. It’s part of a new effort to combat a massive labor shortage for the school district. It may seem like a no-brainer, but in education any kind of pay incentives for teachers used to be taboo. Read more on that here

Big News: We are so excited to share that Politifest is back! Our team is busy finalizing all the details but be sure to save the date. We’ll be in Chula Vista on Thursday, Oct. 6 hosting a mayoral debate (location tbd), and at the University of San Diego for the main event on Saturday, Oct. 8. 

We’ll have a full day of debates, one-on-one interviews with experts and, of course, a live podcast. Get a first look at the details here. Plus, if you think something is missing from the event, now’s your chance! Apply to host your own Community Conversation by August 1. If you need some help crafting your idea, shoot me an email and we can work through the details. 

Megan is Voice of San Diego’s director of marketing. She is responsible for producing and overseeing strategies that extend the reach of the organization....

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