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County of Santa Clara Statement on the US Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— The County of Santa Clara administration and elected officials expressed dismay and disappointment on Friday after news of the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Below are reactions from key leaders at the County:  

Supervisor Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors: “I’m very disappointed in today’s ruling. I believe the Court has overreached in its decision to limit women’s reproductive freedom and restrict privacy rights.”  

Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, Vice President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors: “For those who engage in the cynical punting of the fundamental right to bodily autonomy by saying it is up to states to decide, I have a message: We have decided. We have decided to reject the misogyny, the anger, the misinformation and fear mongering that has been plotting for the end of Roe for decades. We have decided to provide necessary reproductive healthcare to anyone who requests it.” 

Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors: “California will become a sanctuary in a post-Roe world but we must not become an island. We can no longer allow our status as a state — where abortion rights are secure — to become an excuse to ignore what is going on elsewhere in our country. We have to use our voices, our time, and our wallets to support candidates for office who support the rights of women, including our right to control our own bodies. We must support causes that protect the civil rights of our entire community.”   

Supervisor Otto Lee, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors: “I am deeply saddened by the Supreme Court taking a monumental step backwards to reverse half a century of law that provides safe access to reproductive services nationally. As a husband and a father of three daughters, this fundamental right is essential to protecting the health of women and girls everywhere. Sadly, this ruling will disproportionately harm the poor and people of color who do not have access to healthcare, victims of rape and incest, and even possibly endanger the life of a mother. Though California will continue to protect reproductive freedom for now, I’m deeply concerned that this is the first step to a federal abortion ban in every state. I am committed to fighting for reproductive justice in Santa Clara County and beyond.”

Supervisor Joe Simitian, Chair of the County’s Health and Hospital Committee: “This is bad law. It’s bad policy. And our County is ready to use all of the tools at its disposal to push back.” 

Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D., County Executive: “The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade is deeply disappointing. Access to comprehensive healthcare, including abortion and other reproductive healthcare, is a cornerstone of public health. This change will not only negatively impact safety but will also increase health inequities.”  

James R. Williams, County Counsel: “Abortion is legal in the State of California, and we will fight any effort to deny anyone the right to access abortion care in our community.  The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn long-established precedent is, as the Chief Justice acknowledged in his concurrence, a stark and improper departure from the Court’s respect for its own prior decisions and undermines confidence in the rule of law.  We will pursue every avenue available to ensure everyone in our community has access to comprehensive reproductive care.”  

Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health: “As federal funding becomes less available for abortion and related services, the lowest income pregnant people will be most affected. The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department is profoundly concerned for the health and wellbeing of pregnant people, children and families, so we continue to work towards healthy equity, which can only be achieved with access to comprehensive healthcare.”   

Paul Lorenz, CEO, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics: “As the safety net healthcare provider for our region, the County of Santa Clara Health System will continue to provide access to abortion and all other comprehensive reproductive care for our patients.  When access to these services is limited or denied elsewhere in the country, we expect to see people traveling to our community to access the care they need.  The County and our taxpayers will face the costs of other states denying people access to basic healthcare. Regardless, the County will continue to help any person seeking reproductive services because abortion is a human right, and nobody should be fearful to access the care they need.”  


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The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.

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Posted: June 24, 2022

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