An employee of the archdiocese of San Francisco running for San Mateo City Council has declined to state whether or not he supports Proposition 1, a ballot measure that would amend the California state constitution to explicitly name a right to abortion.

Rod Linhares did not respond to San Mateo Councilwoman Amourence Lee’s candidate survey concerning the city council candidates’ position on Proposition 1 and whether the candidates consider themselves “pro-choice.”

Lee published the survey answers on her public Facebook page noting, “Mr. Linhares is the development director at an organization which stated that ‘defeating Prop 1 is our number one priority for this year.’”

Three days later, Lee followed up with another Facebook post: “San Mateo City Council Candidate Rod Linhares has no position on the right to legal and safe abortion or Prop 1. Leadership requires taking positions… Mr. Linhares is grossly out of step with the overwhelmingly prochoice majority in the city of San Mateo. Please join me in donating to Planned Parenthood in Mr. Rod Linhares’s name.”

In response to follow-up questions about his position on Proposition 1, Linhares told Redwood City’s Climate Magazine, “I support our City Council’s decision to establish a 100-foot buffer zone around our Planned Parenthood Clinic to help ensure access, safety, and provide peace of mind. In addition, I support enforcement of all the laws of the state of California, including women’s reproductive rights.”

Linhares told Climate Magazine, “My work for the Archdiocese is separate from my community service, and my beliefs are my own.”

Linhares’ campaign donations are processed by ActBlue, which requires that a candidate is “a Democrat or working for progressive causes.”

Linhares attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, University of Notre Dame, and University of San Francisco and has worked for the archdiocese for over five years.

Linhares did not respond to a request for comment for this article.

– article submitted by Mary Rose on Sept. 9.