Mayor Breed Announces the San Francisco Reproductive Freedom Act to Safeguard Access to Abortions and Other Vital Services

If approved by voters in November, the ballot measure will strengthen the City's work to protect reproductive freedoms of women in San Francisco as states across the country continue to face legal challenges and bans for services critical to women’s healthcare and rights
June 18, 2024

San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed, along with Supervisors Catherine Stefani, Myrna Melgar and Hillary Ronen, joined leaders and reproductive rights advocates today at the Planned Parenthood of Northern California to announce the San Francisco Reproductive Freedom Act, a new ballot measure put forth by Mayor Breed to ensure the reproductive freedoms and rights of women in San Francisco will remain protected as jurisdictions around the country continue to limit reproductive freedoms.  

The measure proposes to enact a range of protections for women seeking abortion services and reproductive care in San Francisco, including by ensuring that no information is shared with jurisdictions outside of California where such information could be used to prosecute either a patient or a reproductive healthcare provider. Since the repeal of Roe v Wade, abortion has been banned in 14 states, and significant restrictions exist in seven others. 

“This ballot measure secures access to reproductive services and abortions for women in our City, but it also sends a clear message across the nation that San Francisco continues to be a leader in supporting reproductive rights and we will not tolerate any level of disruption,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “It is unthinkable that forces are at work to prevent a woman from being able to make decisions about her own body. We have stood on the right side of history before and now, more than ever, we will work harder to get back what was taken and preserve what we know to be a core value in this country.” 

The San Francisco Reproductive Freedom Protection Act will strengthen longstanding access to abortion and reproductive services, and establish new requirements, including: 

  • Declaring it official policy of the City and County of San Francisco to safeguard comprehensive reproductive freedom through a number of declarations 
  • Requiring public information to be provided about where people can access reproductive health services 
  • Prohibiting use of City funds to cooperate with or provide information to support prosecution of an abortion or reproductive health service that is lawful in California 
  • Limiting City funding from going to any reproductive health facility that does not provide or refer for a comprehensive reproductive health service 
  • Requiring signage at crisis pregnancy centers that tell people those locations do not provide comprehensive reproductive health care and where they can get information about locations that do 
  • Establishing a fund that both private and City dollars (if appropriated later) could go to in support people in accessing reproductive health care 
  • Amending the Planning Code to clarify that reproductive health clinics are a permitted use wherever non-residential uses are permitted 

“This ballot measure sends a clear message: San Francisco will always stand as a beacon of hope and protection for those seeking reproductive autonomy,” said Supervisor Catherine Stefani. “The San Francisco Reproductive Freedom Act helps safeguard our community's access to safe and legal abortion services, starkly contrasting the shameful trend of eroding reproductive rights across the country. I urge all San Franciscans to support this measure and continue our city’s trailblazing example of what it means to prioritize an individual’s right to comprehensive reproductive freedom.” 

“San Francisco has long been a place of refuge for those fleeing violence and persecution. Unfortunately, with the fall of Roe vs. Wade, this means we must make sure our City is open and welcoming to people facing prosecution for seeking basic reproductive healthcare within our own country,” said Supervisor Myrna Melgar. “With this legislation from Mayor Breed, the women of San Francisco will continue to lead the nation in progress, in human rights, and the promise of safety."  

“In San Francisco, access to reproductive health doesn’t just mean the ability to obtain high quality care,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “It also means being able to walk in to see a healthcare provider without fear of harm, manipulation, guilt or pressure. These are San Francisco values that I am proud our city fights to uphold.” 

"Women's access to health care is not negotiable. In San Francisco we are united as a sanctuary city for all women who seek care and all the service providers who provide care,” said Supervisor Connie Chan. “I am proud to stand with my fellow women leaders as we join in solidarity to protect access to abortion."

San Francisco has been a leader with a strong history of supporting women’s reproductive freedoms and rights, including wraparound reproductive health services such as contraception, abortion, in vitro fertilization, and accurate and complete medical information. Across the country, women and healthcare providers continue to face life-threatening legal challenges that erode the ability of protecting the health, safety, and quality of life of women. 

“The San Francisco Reproductive Freedom Act further cements our city's ongoing leadership and commitment to advancing reproductive rights for women at a time when they are under assault across the country," said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. "In addition to protecting these rights, my office will also not hesitate to prosecute those who violate our laws and threaten and harm women seeking care or medical providers.” 

San Francisco has six public health facilities that perform more than 1,200 abortions each year.  

Since the Dobbs decision, California has seen an increase in abortion procedures. In May of 2022 before the fall of Roe v. Wade, California reported 13,680 abortions. In May of 2023 alone, abortions in the state increased to 15,550. In March of 2023, the state saw 16,000 abortions. Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California reported that medication abortions by their clinics increased by 18% statewide from June 2022 to June 2023. 

Mayor Breed’s Key Efforts to Support and Protect Women’s Reproductive Freedoms 

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, Mayor Breed, along with regional partners, launched the Bay Area Abortion Rights Coalition. As part of this effort, San Francisco is leading the way in providing staff and funding to support a coordinated blueprint mapping of the Bay Area’s abortion services, analyze capacity, and monitor developments and impacts that restrictive abortion laws from around the country are having in our region. 

Mayor Breed continues to maintain funding that supports a range of initiatives, such as:

  • A two-year grant funding for security officers assigned to the Planned Parenthood location in San Francisco. A new two-year grant proposal to begin in 2025 is underway.  
  • Six public health facilities that provide abortion services and reproductive services. 

Additionally, San Francisco has a robust system of care across 29 facilities managed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFPDH) to provide a full scope reproductive care and services care, which include:   

  • Family Planning Counseling   
  • Gynecology 
  • HIV testing and treatment, Pep & PrEP  
  • Perinatal Care   
  • Prenatal Care   
  • Pregnancy Tests  
  • Sexually transmitted infection screening, diagnosis and treatment 
  • Ultrasound services 

Reproductive care and services are also provided at numerous community-based programs such as shelter health, family programs, nurse visiting programs, as well as numerous outreach programs.  

In San Francisco, healthcare providers and clinics offer in-clinic abortions, prescriptions for the mifepristone pill, and other tele-services such as counseling and therapy support. In California, Medi-Cal and most private insurance plans cover abortions, and financial support is also available for people who need help covering costs. 

“Reproductive freedom is manifested at the local level,” said Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax. “Restrictions to reproductive healthcare only widens gaps and contributes to health disparities. The City continues to be a leader in ensuring safe and timely access to reproductive health services and the Department of Public Health is committed to providing low cost, low barrier services to all who rely on us for their health care.” 

“With the high stakes Presidential election in the fall, this ballot initiative is an example of San Francisco proactively contingency planning,” said Kimberly Ellis, Director of the Department on the Status of Women. “We can no longer assume basic federal protection of fundamental rights, but thanks to Mayor Breed’s leadership, San Francisco is taking matters into its own hands and enshrining reproductive freedom into our local laws.” 

Community Support for the San Francisco Reproductive Freedom Act 

“In a time when anti-reproductive freedom zealots are attempting to abolish abortion and reproductive health care access across the country, San Francisco leaders consistently take brave steps to protect services our patients need and want,” said Gilda Gonzales, CEO, Planned Parenthood Northern California. “With the launch of the San Francisco Reproductive Freedom Act, our local leaders will safeguard access to health care services for thousands of residents from San Francisco and surrounding communities, as well as those coming from other states. Planned Parenthood Northern California supports the passage of this initiative and is hopeful more local communities will take the same bold steps.” 

“The San Francisco reproductive freedom ballot measure is a new and emerging city effort, using direct democracy to ensure people have reproductive freedom within the community where they live,” said Jenny Mistry, Vice President of Program and Partnerships, National Institute for Reproductive Health. “This is what it looks like to be proactive in a reality where legal rights are not a guarantee for anyone anywhere.” 

“As states across the country continue to enact callous and cruel abortion bans and restrictions, in California and San Francisco, we have an opportunity and responsibility, to use every tool possible to protect and expand access to essential health services. This measure builds on San Francisco’s long history of taking bold action in support of equity and justice and provides a model for other jurisdictions to adopt and adapt. We urge San Franciscans to support reproductive health and rights and thank Mayor Breed for her leadership,” said Amy Moy, Co-CEO, Essential Access Health

“ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, California's statewide abortion fund, is grateful to Mayor Breed for putting forward this initiative to the voters in November of this year,” said Jessica Pinckney Gil, Executive Director, ACCESS Reproductive Justice. “At ACCESS RJ, we know that there is still work to be done all across California, and the country, to ensure that all individuals can assert their decision-making and bodily autonomy, especially when accessing an abortion. This initiative, if approved by San Francisco voters, will help us in our shared goal of obtaining Reproductive Justice for all.” 

The Mayor will sign this measure onto the ballot. In November, voters will decide if the measure should be declared the official policy of the City and County of San Francisco, ultimately safeguarding, protecting, and ensuring reproductive freedoms.