San Francisco Won't Do Business With 22 States Because of Their 'Severe' Anti-Abortion Laws

Amid a national debate over reproductive rights, city officials in San Francisco announced this week that they will stop doing business with 22 states over their "severe anti-choice policies."

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Vallie Brown announced the ordinance Wednesday. The mandate prohibits city employees from traveling to each of the states or making any new deals with companies headquartered in them. The officials said they hoped the move sends a clear message to states that restrict access to abortion.

"Every day in this country, women's reproductive rights are threatened, and we have to fight back. 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 in a statement.

The move comes after nearly a dozen states passed legislation this year restricting abortion access. Many of the state leaders have confessed that the laws (almost all of which are being challenged in court) are part of an effort to dismantle Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision recognizing a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

The states that have been blacklisted by San Francisco are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

These states, according to the statement, all try to restrict abortion before fetal viability or the period at which a fetus can survive outside the womb. Most medical professionals define the age of viability as being at 24 weeks.

San Francisco's ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Brown, the author of the mandate, said in a statement that "at a time when reproductive rights are being attacked from Washington and statehouses across the country, it is imperative that San Francisco step up and fight back."

abortion rights protest LA california
An activist seen holding a placard that says Keep Abortion Legal during the protest. Women rights activists protested against restrictions on abortions after Alabama passed the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S. San Francisco is cutting business ties with 22 states over their restrictive abortion policies. Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Brown also tweeted on Wednesday that the city's "+$12 billion budget should be spent on what we stand for and reflect our values. San Francisco will not do business with the 22 states that have passed abortion bans. We will not fund states that harm women, trans men and non-binary people."

The Family Research Council, a self-described pro-marriage and pro-life organization, slammed San Francisco's ordinance as intolerant. Life News, a pro-life media outlet, tweeted that it will do the same to San Francisco: "We'll cancel any travel plans to San Francisco and spend our vacation dollars going to pro-life states instead! Who's with us!"