A newly formed coalition of Latino pastors sent representatives to the capitol last week to stand up for the unborn and against Planned Parenthood’s plans to put abortion clinics in their communities. They came specifically to testify against Assembly Bill 2085, a proposed bill that mandates cities approve abortion clinics, effectively stripping local communities of the right to reject such establishments. They had never testified in a legislative committee before, but the California Family Council held their hands and showed them the ropes….

The hearing room buzzed with anticipation. Proponents of the bill, including representatives from Planned Parenthood and various advocacy groups, had already spoken passionately about the necessity of the legislation. They emphasized the need for accessible healthcare, including abortion services, especially in underserved areas. Molly Robson, Vice President of Government Affairs at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, highlighted the struggles faced by their clinics in hostile environments, recounting specific instances where local governments had obstructed their efforts through regulatory hurdles.

As the time for opposition testimony arrived, the atmosphere in the room shifted. First to speak was Cecilia Iglesias, a former school board member and city council member from Santa Ana, now the director of the Coalición de Pastores Latinos. Representing over 120 bipartisan Latino pastors and faith leaders, Iglesias delivered a powerful statement.

“Today, I speak in strong opposition to AB 2085,” she began. “This bill mandates that cities must permit community clinics, specifically abortion facilities, and allows lawsuits against municipalities that do not comply. Cities should have the autonomy to regulate businesses based on their community’s values and needs, just as they do with casinos, tobacco, and liquor stores….”

Following Iglesias, Pastor Alejandra Espejel, representing Revival One Voice and the Latino Pastors Coalition, echoed her sentiments. As a mother and defender of life, she articulated a deep concern for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of individuals in her communities. Despite Planned Parenthood offering some services women in her community need, “its emphasis and focus on abortion nullifies any positive effort they can make,” she testified.

She concluded with a poignant quote from Psalms 139, emphasizing the sanctity of life: “You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I know very well that your works are wonderful….”

From California Family Council