News and Commentary

Los Angeles County Bans Official Travel To Alabama Over Abortion Law (Sort Of)

As Los Angeles County faces an unparalleled homeless crisis, the board of supervisors is voting on the stuff that really matters: banning official travel to the state of Alabama for up to one year for passing a law that bans abortion in nearly all circumstances.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to “impose a one-year restriction on travel to the state of Alabama for official county business,” The Hill reports. In a statement, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis characterizes the Alabama bill as “an act of aggression upon all of us” and declares that the county will stand in solidarity with all the oppressed women of the southern state.

“We must stand in solidarity and in opposition against extremist and unconstitutional laws that put the health and wellbeing of families at risk,” Solis says. “The constitutional and human right to a safe and legal abortion is part of the very fabric of the United States. As such, Los Angeles County will stand against all attempts to dismantle the protections afforded by Roe v. Wade and the U.S. Constitution.”

Solis boasts that the travel restriction “sends a strong signal that infringing upon an individual’s rights to reproductive health and privacy are not American values.”

Despite the lofty rhetoric, the travel restriction is not a true ban, as Solis acknowledges. Los Angeles County officials can travel to Alabama on county business in cases of “emergency response, training, or assistance, or other legally-required matters where the failure to authorize such travel would seriously harm the County’s interests,” she explains. The ban is thus more of a symbolic act than anything that has any real-world consequences.

Letters from Los Angeles County will also be sent to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (a woman) demanding that the law be overturned. Similar letters will be sent to leaders in states like Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Utah.

In an op-ed this week, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro wrote that while the rhetoric among the pro-choice crowd often characterizes abortion as a constitutional right or a wholly American value, no such language exists in the Constitution.

“There is no ‘right to abortion’ in the Constitution,” Shapiro wrote. “The founders would have been appalled by such a statement. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade (1973) is a legal monstrosity by every available metric: As legal scholar John Hart Ely wrote, Roe ‘is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.'”

The Los Angeles travel ban on Alabama comes on the heels of various actors and actresses threatening to boycott the state of Georgia for recently implementing a fetal heartbeat bill that essentially bans abortions of unborn babies once doctors detect a heartbeat in the mother’s womb. Thus far, the intimidation has not persuaded the governors of either state to overturn the laws.