The Friday Supreme Court decision to strike down 50 years of abortion rights afforded in 1973’s Roe v Wade has touched off a tidal wave of opposition across the country including seemingly unanimous outrage — and calls to action — among local elected leaders, health agencies and organizations.

With a religious conservative supermajority of justices currently sitting on the nation’s highest court, many local agencies were already preparing for the overturning of federal abortion rights even before a draft decision was leaked earlier this session, precipitating county- and state-wide programs to strengthen and expand access to safe, legal abortions in California.

“The governors of California, Oregon and Washington today issued a Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to export their abortion bans to our states,” a press release from the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom stated Friday morning. “This Multi-State Commitment affirms the governors’ commitment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to strip away a constitutional right that has been in place for half a century, leaving abortion regulation to the states. The sweeping decision means that for patients in more than half the country, home to 33.6 million women, abortion care is illegal or inaccessible.”

Part of Newsom’s effort includes a $125 million Reproductive Health Package designed “to expand access for women and help prepare for the influx of women seeking reproductive health care from other states,” according to the Governor’s press office, as well as support for proposed legislation to enshrine the right to abortion into California’s Constitution.

At the County level, efforts began in January to make Los Angeles a “haven county” for abortion access. At the time, all five LA County Supervisors voiced unanimous support to embark on a program to expand abortion access to out-of-state residents, while identifying “opportunities to reduce and address health disparities by expanding reproductive and sexual health services, supplies and education, for marginalized communities and those who might be harder to reach.”

On Friday afternoon, the LA County Department of Public Health released a statement affirming the continued legal access to abortion across California, calling the June 24 Supreme Court decision “shocking in its disregard for the health, rights, and dignity of half of the U.S. population.”

The statement also provided an update on what is now called the Safe Haven Abortion Project: “It seeks to improve access to abortion and to the full spectrum of reproductive health services for Los Angeles residents and for people who travel here from states where abortion is no longer an option. Access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, is fundamental to the health of individuals, families, and communities.”

LA County District Attorney George Gascón’s office released a statement following the Friday decision, indicating he was among 83 elected prosecutors who signed a document arguing “that using limited criminal justice resources to prosecute personal healthcare decisions runs counter to their obligation to pursue justice and promote public safety.”

Gascón called the Supreme Court decision “a sad day in America,” echoing the sentiments of many fellow elected officials.

On a local level, Councilmember Phil Brock took to Twitter to declare: “Every woman must have the right to make ALL decisions about themselves and their body. It is always their choice, not a man’s. The Supreme Court is wrong!”

Also on Twitter, both candidates for Third District Supervisor weighed in against the decision.

“The Supreme Court is criminalizing women,” Senator Bob Hertzberg was quoted as saying. “The majority’s theological bent wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant and is a throwback to when women were property and knew their place. That past is our future if Americans don’t wake up and vote.”

West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath Tweeted: “Today is a painful day in American history. This Supreme Court has decided millions of people should be without reproductive healthcare access, putting their lives at risk and deepening political divisions in this country more than ever before. There is no easy way to heal the wounds of this legal assault on the women of our country. Reproductive freedom – safe, affordable, accessible, culturally-competent, gender-affirming quality healthcare including abortion – must be the law of the land.”

Rick Chavez Zbur, who just won the race to represent Santa Monica in Assembly District 51, issued a statement saying “this week, our greatest fears have come true,” adding that his “heart breaks for all the women and child-bearing people throughout our country who are poised to become second-class citizens.”

U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, representing Santa Monica in Washington, issued a press release stating he was “distraught” over Friday’s news.

“It is, unfortunately, exactly as we feared,” Lieu said. “The Republicans’ decades-long war waged in support of forced birth has culminated in this appalling decision. Roe v. Wade was settled law according to the confirmation testimonies of the Justices who just voted to overturn it. These Justices lied to the Senate and the American people to be confirmed. It should come as no surprise that public confidence in the Supreme Court is at its lowest. Conservative justices, who have often decried legislating from the bench, will now impose their radical views on abortion onto the rest of the country.”

Venice Family Clinic, which together with South Bay Family Health Care services about 45,000 patients, issued a statement condemning the Supreme Court decision, with CEO Elizabeth Benson Forer saying, “this dreadful decision will jeopardize women’s lives and health.”

As of Friday, abortion had been outlawed or severely limited in five states due to so-called “trigger laws” designed to come into effect immediately upon the overnturning of Roe v Wade. Those states include Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas, with additional bans or restrictions soon to be implemented in Wyoming, Utah, Tennessee, North Dakota, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho and Arkansas, according to analysis by Politico. Several other states have legislatures poised to impose new restrictions or bans, but no laws on the books.

emily@smdp.com