EDITOR’S NOTE: A full story on the proposed resolution with comments from San Clemente City Councilmembers and members of the community will be posted later today, Friday, Aug. 5.
San Clemente Mayor Gene James has called for a special City Council meeting to be held Saturday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m. to consider the removal of a proposed “Sanctuary for Life City Resolution” from the Aug. 16 meeting agenda.
The decision comes as Councilmember Steven Knoblock’s attempt to pass the resolution, which was agendized for discussion with James’ second at the council’s previous July 19 meeting, has put San Clemente in the national spotlight.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that protected abortion rights via the constitutional right to privacy, Knoblock wanted the council to issue a stance “supporting the concept of life” with states now responsible for their own legislation on the matter.
A draft of Knoblock’s resolution that circulated through the community, major media outlets and social media platforms this week suggested that the City of San Clemente agrees with the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, stands against the presence of “Planned Parenthood clinics or any other clinics where abortion is practiced at will and on demand” and “condemns voluntary abortion practices used for any reason.”
The draft did allow for “medical intervention” where it is necessary to protect the mother or child or there is “instances of rape/incest.”
The draft stated that the City Council “considers life to begin at conception,” that all human life “beginning from life inside the womb” should be provided protection by their governments “from acts of cruelty.”
The draft concluded that the City Council recognized “the full humanity of the preborn child,” declared San Clemente as a “sanctuary for life,” resolved to “enforce this resolution by all means within its power and authority” and that it stood on this resolution “to honor God.”
When during the July 19 meeting Councilmember Kathy Ward asked how the city could be in any way involved, Knoblock said that the subject is within their authority since the state of California holds the power to decide how to regulate abortions.
“We can communicate with our government, with our legislature, with our assembly members, with our senators, on what we like and don’t like,” Knoblock said. “We do that on lots of bills, lots of laws, and this is a big one for our nation.”
Ward countered that the issue was not a city issue and didn’t support his motion, citing that the resolution would cause significant problems.
“You’re going to make half the people in this city unhappy,” she said.
During Saturday’s meeting, interested parties will be able to speak during the oral communications portion.
The meeting will be held at the San Clemente Community Center.