Nicholas Goldberg: Karen Bass says she’ll protect Angelenos’ abortion rights. But can the mayor of L.A. really do that?
Karen Bass wants to protect abortion on demand — the right to choose when, not if, a woman should become pregnant. And she says she’ll do it in L.A.
Well, L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley says “no way” to that.
That’s because, as the new L.A. City Council member and the state’s attorney general, he’s in the opposite camp.
It’s not surprising, then, that a pair of state attorneys general, Kamala D. Harris and Eric Schneiderman, are calling on L.A. Mayor Bradley, a liberal Democrat, to join them against a ballot measure on Tuesday that will make it illegal to perform an abortion in L.A.
The measure, known as Question A, would be a radical and unprecedented move in California, but one with national implications. There are three other states — Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee — with anti-abortion ballot measures on the books, but none has enough support to qualify a proposition for the statewide ballot.
Question A is the only pro-life measure on the California ballot, and only one other, Proposition 32, passed with 52 percent of the vote on the November 2010 ballot. The measure was drafted by the pro-life California Catholic Conference and the Center for Reproductive Rights, the New York-based nonprofit that has been working on the issue for more than 20 years.
Bass, who is the president of Planned Parenthood of Southern California, is the one who is most likely to win in Tuesday’s vote. But she may not have to if the L.A. mayor and the rest of the politicians behind her are able to stop the measure before it’s on the November ballot.
The anti-abortion vote in California would be one of 13 in the country. But a state such as California is going to vote on this initiative in many states throughout the nation, and then turn