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City Council to Vote to Establish a Women’s Commission or Board Focused on Women’s Equality and Protecting Women’s Rights

Today, City Representative Henry Rivera, District 7 placed an item on the agenda for next week’s City Council Meeting to protect women’s rights and establish a Women’s Commission or Board focused on women’s equality and protecting women’s rights.  

On May 2nd, 2022, an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked and stated that the Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision. According to the draft, the U.S. Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, reversing nearly 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion, and let states set their own restrictions on the procedure. If this draft reflects the final decision of the Court, expected this summer, it would eliminate abortion access across the nation.  

The item, placed on the agenda by City Representative Henry Rivera, District 7 and co-sponsored by City Representatives Peter Svarzbein, District 1, Alexsandra Annello, District 2 and Cassandra Hernandez, District 3, is intended to protect ALL Women’s rights, including, but not limited to, the right to make a decision about their bodies, and to direct the City Manager to work with the City Council to establish a Women’s Commission or Board focused on women’s equality and protecting women’s rights.  

“Women’s freedom to choose over their own body is a fundamental right and should be protected,” said City Representative Henry Rivera, District 7. “NO person or government entity should control or threaten women’s rights. Men need to unite and support women because actions taken against women’s rights affect everyone.”  

City Representative Alexsandra Annello, District 2, one of the item’s co-sponsors, said she’s deeply disturbed and angered that the Supreme Court has the audacity to vote on a monumental item behind closed doors which impacts her rights and the rights of all women in the United States as it relates to their bodies and health. “This action moves our nation backwards at a time when we should be working to move forward towards greater freedom and choice,” Annello said. “The agenda item today is meant to give women in our community a voice when clearly, we are not being heard in Washington D.C. The words we have been speaking for the past 60 years have been of equality, freedom, and the right to be a human being in this country. I am proud to co-sponsor this item with my colleagues and I look forward to the passage of this item at council next week.” 

“We continue to see an affront to women’s rights, not just with the recent Supreme Court draft but even more so in Texas, as shown in the demeaning legislation that has rolled back women’s reproductive rights within the past decade,” said City Representative Cassandra Hernandez, District 3. “A City board for focusing on women’s equality is an opportunity to galvanize El Paso women to take part in their government and to rally others to have an open and honest discussion on what is happening to women’s freedoms. It is up to all levels of government and those of all backgrounds to do their part in advocating for the liberties and lives of our women.”  

 “We as a community should continue to fight against sexism, discrimination, and racism that set boundaries and prevent us from making beneficial progress as a community, state, and country,” said City Representative Peter Svarzbein, District 1. “Now is one of those times to speak in solidarity as a troubling time for many in our country.” 

The item is set to go to City Council for a vote during the Regular City Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at 9 a.m.

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