Speakers at Thursday’s press conference included Democrats for Life communications director Jess Meeth, Democrat attorney Christopher Bakes, International Faith Based Coalition president Tak Allen, and Tarbiya Institute representative Mashal Ayobi. They were joined by California Family Council communications coordinator Sophia Lorey and Traditional Values for Next Generations founder Sarah Kim.
“Together with our partners here around this podium we see the illogic, the imprudence and the danger of Proposition 1,” Bishop Soto said. “We have been companions for women who find themselves alone and unsupported. This mission will continue. Say ‘no’ to Prop. 1 and let us offer better alternatives to women and children.”
Ann Stone, Republicans for Choice founder and national chairman, said Prop. 1 is “a sloppy over-reach by the pro-choice side.”
“It doesn’t codify Roe. It goes beyond. Badly beyond,” she said.
One speaker delivered remarks on behalf of Kristin Turner, executive director of Pro-life San Francisco and a self-identified progressive vegan atheist. Turner said the proposal is “an extreme violation of human rights” and contradicts what Californians know about the humanity of the unborn child.
“The majority of us can see that at 7, 8, 9 months old, that is clearly a baby,” she said. Turner advocated that California direct money to better causes, like reducing maternal mortality, which especially affects Black women.
Dr. Vansen Wong, an obstetrician-gynecologist, is among the critics of the measure. He performed hundreds of abortions before he rejected the procedure as morally wrong.
Wong warned of the medical problems that abortion can cause after 21 weeks. Women who have late-term abortions face a greater risk of pre-term delivery in future pregnancies and are at greater risk of delivering babies with no hope of survival. Women who have late-term abortions face greater mental health risks including anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
Bishop Soto said that October is “a time to renew our commitment to pray, advocate and do works of mercy promoting the dignity of human life.”
“For almost 50 years the Catholic community has been an alternative voice of reason protecting the dignity of human life in the womb,” he said.
“We are here to present a different vision and offer the hopes of a better California,” the bishop said. “The Gospel of Jesus gives life and hope to all. Like the first disciples of Jesus, we are fortunate to have been chosen, to be messengers of a life-changing, life-giving Gospel in a time of great change and turmoil in California.”
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Foes of the measure must work to sway voters. Though an August poll from Rasmussen Reports indicated that only 13% of California voters support abortion through the third trimester, an August survey from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies said that 71% of the state’s voters would vote in favor of Proposition 1.