Anti-choice advocates, having had limited success pushing extreme abortion bans at the state and federal levels, are increasingly turning their attention to localities. Due to effective defense and constitutional challenges, these proposed local abortion bans have been so far unsuccessful. Nonetheless, we anticipate a continued focus on local work by anti-choice advocates. Activists should be prepared to fight back against these dangerous restrictions and to seize the opportunity to demonstrate how extreme and out-of-choice are opponents are.

Read more from Slate about the dangerous and extreme personhood movement’s shift to local-level advocacy.

2015
In January 2015, the Beaver County Commission passed a proclamation opposing reproductive choice and abortion rights. The proclamation also retroactively created the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday as January 18. It also expressed support for the local chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life and their Annual Respect Life Memorial Program. Two out of three of the County Commissioners are anti-choice, and they had passed similar measures in the past; only Commissioner Albert voted against the bill. Commissioner Albert expressed his pro-choice beliefs, as well as frustration that he had not been told of this proclamation before the meeting.

Read local coverage of the proclamation and its full text in the Beaver Countian.

Read more coverage of the proclamation, including Commissioner Albert’s opposition.

2014
In November 2014, the Rossville City Council approved an ordinance banning abortion clinics in the city. The mayor of Rossville, Teddy Harris, said of the ordinance: “We want to be a peaceful city. We don’t want any protestors.” Since there are no abortion clinics in Rossville, the ordinance had no practical effect. Indeed, its major outcome was to draw protests from pro-choice activists around the country. Before the ordinance could become law, the city withdrew it in response to the city attorney’s determination that it was unconstitutional.

Read local coverage of the ordinance’s initial passage.

RH Reality Check reported on the ordinance’s passage.

Read ThinkProgress’ report on the ordinance.

A Georgia State University law professor weighs in on the constitutional problems with the ordinance.

Read about the ordinance’s withdrawal.

2013
In Albuquerque, citizens came out in record numbers to vote on a ballot measure that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks in the city. The ban was defeated 55%-45% in a resounding victory for the pro-choice movement. Albuquerque, NM is home to one of only three abortion clinics in the nation that provide late-term abortions.

Respect ABQ Women is the coalition of women, families, and allied organizations that has organized to defeat the 20-week abortion ban.

Read about the official launch of the Respect ABQ Women campaign.

Read Salon‘s explanation on the couple behind the measure.

Read the Albuquerque Journal News’ coverage of how supporters of the measure bussed in teens from California to protest outside the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum, causing outrage among community members.

See the Albuquerque Journal News polling on Albuquerque residents’ support for this measure.

See coverage of Albuquerque native and legendary civil rights activist Dolores Huerta’s visit to Albuquerque to express opposition to the ballot measure.

Read about the how the Bernalillo County Commission banned picketing outside private residences in response to a protest outside an abortion provider’s home.

Read about efforts by Respect ABQ Women to encourage people to vote “no” on the measure in early voting.

The Valencia County Right to Life Chapter presented a petition to also ban abortion at 20 weeks to the Valencia County Commissioners.

Read about the television commercials being aired by opponents and supporters of the ban.

Read an in-depth analysis of the battle around the proposed abortion ban from MSNBC’s Irin Carmon.

Read about the defeat of the 20-week abortion ban from The New York Times.

Read about the defeat of the 20-week abortion ban from MSNBC’s Irin Carmon.

Read about the impact of the ban’s defeat on anti-choice groups.

Read about the role female voters played in the defeat of the abortion ban.

Tim Palmquist, administrator of LifeSavers Ministries, introduced the Human Life Ordinance to the Bakersfield, Calif., City Council in 2012. The ordinance would have banned abortion in the city and enabled anyone “aggrieved” by another person’s abortion to file a civil suit against them. After its introduction, it was tabled by the City Council until July 2013. Amid concerns that the ordinance would open the City to a legal challenge, Council members asked the City Attorney to draft a resolution that would be less contentious. The Attorney presented a resolution to the City Council that would have commended anti-choice organizations. After a contentious battle, the City Council rejected both the ordinance and the resolution.

Pro-Choice Kern County is the coalition formed in response to the ordinance. Read more about them here and here.

Read about the arguments for and against the resolution made by Bakersfield residents in July 2013 here and here.

Read about the approval of the anti-choice resolution by a Bakersfield City Council Committee.

Read more about the events leading up to the October meeting.

Read about the City Council’s decision to table both the ordinance and resolution indefinitely.

Read about the reasons that the City Council chose not to adopt either proposed policy.