Historically Catholic Santa Cruz Self-Declared “Pro-Choice” City

By Gudrun Schultz

  SANTA CRUZ, California, January 25, 2007 ( - The City Council of Santa Cruz wants the city to be know as a pro-abortion center, passing a resolution earlier this week to join the Pro-Choice City Campaign, Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink reported yesterday.

  In a 5-2 vote, the council adopted the “pro-choice” title Tuesday, aligning the once-Catholic city with a network of US cities dedicated to abortion activism under the banner of “reproductive health choices.”

  Council member Ryan Coonerty, who supported the measure, said the council had to take a stand in response to the growing anti-abortion challenge in the country.

“I’d be happy if the council didn’t have to take these positions,” he said. “But the right to choose is being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, and it’s a politicized issue.”

  The resolution was proposed by Santa Cruz mayor Emily Reilly and council members Mike Rotkin and Cynthia Mathews, who founded the local branch of Planned Parenthood, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.

  Two women on the council voted against the proposal. Lynn Robinson said she didn’t support city council’s involvement in the issue.

“For me, it was the wrong direction,” she said. “When there’s so much city business to attend to, this is not what I want to be doing as a council member.”

  Gera Schmidt, also opposed, said, “Declaring Santa Cruz as a pro-choice city is a murder mentality. We believe the unborn would ask the council, ‘Please don’t promote and encourage the Santa Cruz mommy’s womb to be a tomb.’”

  Members of the local pro-life organization protested the council decision last week, demonstrating in front of the Sutter Maternity Center.

"We are the organization trying to get the message out to our society that abortion is wrong and we will do what we can to save the babies," said Edith Manchester, 87. "The city in their resolution is neglecting a huge portion of city residents"

  Founded on the site of a once-thriving Catholic mission, the city’s name means “holy cross.”  Established in 1791, Mission Santa Cruz  was founded by Father Fermin de Lasuen to serve the local Ohlone native community and continued as a center of Catholic faith well into the twentieth century.

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