A proposed abortion ban in the City of Temecula was soundly rejected Tuesday night by a vote of 4-1. City Councilmember Jessica Alexander, who introduced the resolution, was the lone yes vote. The resolution will not be placed on the agenda in the future.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Temecula received a letter from the state’s attorney general warning of a lawsuit if the resolution were to move forward.  

“The California Legislature and the California Supreme Court have declared time and again that California is a reproductive freedom state and that Californians have a right to access abortion,” Attorney General Rob Bonta wrote. 

Tuesday’s meeting drew hundreds of residents and protesters from both sides of the abortion debate. Public commenters opposed to the resolution slammed Councilmember Alexander for 'embarassing' the city and opening it up to a potential lawsuit.

Mayor Pro Tem Zak Schwank also issued a scathing rebuke of his colleague. He brought up a speech she gave at a church after introducing the resolution. In the speech, she reportedly spoke about using the spirit of God to destroy "the enemy." 

"It's clear to me that you think your role on the council is to serve yourself, your career, your church, your pastor, and your political party before you serve your constituents in the City of Temecula," Schwank said. He asked Alexander who "the enemy" was.

"Is it me? ...Temecula residents?" 

Other members of the council, including Mayor Matt Rahn and Councilmember Maryann Edwards, prefaced their no votes by acknowledging their pro-life views. They said they worried about the legal implications, citing the letter and phone calls from the AG's office.

"Them's fightin words," Edwards said of Bonta's letter. She said she had a duty to vote in the best interest of her constituents, despite her personal views on abortion. 

Temecula is the second California city to reject a proposed ban on abortion services. A similar proposal, introduced by San Clemente Councilmember Steve Knoblock, was withdrawn from the council’s agenda last month. It initially had support from Mayor Gene James, but he backtracked after reading the language.    

Councilmember Alexander is known for her controversial positions and statements and has developed a reputation for grandstanding. She previously opposed the city’s LGBTQ Pride Proclamation as “harmful and wrong.” Last year, she compared herself to Rosa Parks because she was told to wear a mask at city meetings.