As the Nov. 8 general election approaches, policymakers have advanced a new proposal to protect the reproductive rights of California citizens. Proposal 1if passed, would enshrine reproductive and contraceptive freedom in the California constitution after the Supreme Court ruling Dobbs decision overturned Roe vs. Wade.
Proposition 1 is opposed by many faith-based organizations such as California Catholic Conferencebut is supported by Democratic politicians and lawmakers, including Governor Gavin Newsom.
Professor Haruka Umetsu Cho, associate professor of theology, ethics and spirituality with a focus on constructive theology and feminist and queer theories, highlighted the necessary nuance when considering Proposition 1.
“It’s really important to recognize categories of religion, categories of Christianity or even subcategories of Catholicism,” Umetsu Cho said. “There is such a spectrum that we cannot say a single thing.”
Opponents of this proposal argue that the amendment is too drastic a reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision. Since California state law already protects reproductive rights, they say the amendment will only legalize late-term abortions.
“The polarization of politics and religion cannot solve everything. People’s lives are much more complex than that,” Umetsu Cho said.
An email was sent on June 24 from the Santa Clara Mission and Department after the Dobbs decision, stating that “Santa Clara University affirms the sanctity of human life. This includes unborn children and women whom, as Pope Francis noted, our society fails to adequately support when faced with difficult situations.
In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade and Santa Clara Mission and Ministry Statement June 24, The Associated Student Government sent an open letter to the Santa Clara community August 12 regarding the state of the country and the school. In the letter, the ASG encourages student participation and advocates for “undergraduate student representation.” the various issues, concerns and needs of the student body.
ASG Senate Chairman Izzy Dachs described the significance of the ASG Senate branch’s action in an interview.
“It is the role of the full Senate to assess issues on campus and provide solutions to issues on campus. We can take different paths,” Dachs said. “One avenue is to write a resolution or an open letter, which was the letter Roe v. Wade. Rather, it was about solving a problem because that problem was affecting students on campus with their mental well-being. We are the voice of the students with the administration.
Since 50% of the student population identifies as female, the letter focused on feedback from the Santa Clara community.
“The ASG letter was primarily to acknowledge the feelings of the students,” Dachs said. “Especially since so many students come from out of state, the overturning of Roe v. Wade has affected people differently, even though we all live in California now.”