The city of San Francisco is about to hit anti-abortion states where it hurts.
Mayor London Breed and District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown announced the city will "fight back" against a wave of anti-abortion legislation around the country by forbidding city-funded travel or making new business deals with companies in any of the 22 states that currently have "restrictive abortion laws". Starting in 2020, those states will be persona non grata to the city of San Francisco.
"Just as we restricted spending with states that have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people, we are standing up against states that put women's health at risk and that are actively working to limit reproductive freedoms," Breed said.
Breed's office is hopeful that other cities and states will follow San Francisco's example, putting so much financial pressure on pro-life states that they may change their policies out of sheer financial necessity.
That announcement stirred a tsunami of social media backlash from conservatives and religious leaders.
San Francisco Going Anti-Spend on Pro-Life
The San Francisco blacklist, effective January 1 of next year, will include Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The first nine states have already been shuttered for business on account of their anti-LGBTQ laws and policies.
While most of the targeted states now ban abortion between 13 and 24 weeks, two have attempted to ban it throughout pregnancy, and five others at just six weeks.
Vallie Brown confirmed the announcement on her official Twitter account:
"If other cities and states follow San Francisco's lead," the mayor's office added in a later statement, "the financial pressure might be enough to prompt policy changes."
For now, however, pro-life advocates seem to be standing their ground, dismissing the announcement as a "desperate PR ploy" cobbled together by pro-choice activists.
"I don't think [San Francisco's government] has any real power with this boycott," declared Terrisa Bukovinac, executive director of Pro-Life San Francisco. "It's a PR tactic. This [resolution] is an attempt to fire up their base, but I don't think that even they expect this to stand up to actual scrutiny in a courtroom."
Meanwhile, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts accused San Francisco officials of needlessly worsening the partisan divide.
Faith Leaders React
While San Francisco stands firm in the face of conservative criticism, evangelists like Franklin Graham were quick to reach for Old Testament passages with which to criticize the move. On his Facebook page, Graham wrote:
"Progressive socialist leaders like Mayor Breed want everyone to swallow the lie that abortion is a woman's right even something to celebrate. But it's not. Abortion is murdering a child in its mother's womb. The Bible says, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil " (Isaiah 5:20). I'm thankful to God for the many states and individuals across this great land that are standing for life."
The President of West Coast Baptist College, Paul Chappell, took to Twitter to decry the move:
But San Francisco has shown no signs of backing down. Because for Mayor Breed and city officials, the blacklist is a matter of principle: "By limiting travel and contracting with certain states, we are sending a clear message to states that disregard the right to abortion," they insist.
Where do you stand? Is the city of San Francisco right to exert its significant financial influence in an effort to change policy around the country? Or could this be an example of the progressive movement overstepping its boundaries and causing unnecessary division in America?