Nicholas Goldberg: Karen Bass says she’ll protect Angelenos’ abortion rights. But can the mayor of L.A. really do that?
Karen Bass is the L.A. Mayor’s Office director of communications. (Karen Bass)
When you’re trying to protect the Constitution and the rights of millions of people in Los Angeles, it’s understandable that you want to think about everything, and that comes with the territory. But even a little bit too much thinking about thinking about thinking and planning can lead you to a place that is even more dangerous — the place of complacency.
This week, Los Angeles City at large is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. And at that event in 1963, a woman named Phyllis Schlafly spoke.
I have a letter from Ms. Schlafly addressed to Mayor Eric Garcetti explaining why she had to speak. She said: “I have been asked by President Lyndon Johnson, Vice President Humphrey and others, why I refuse to pay for a person’s abortion. I have no need or use for human life — either the legal or the immoral. I’m not a bleeding heart.”
Later that same year, she was arrested in front of her house, in her garden, for refusing to stop cutting trees on private property in Texas where her family had timber rights. She was fined $2,000, but the judge granted her bail.
Karen Bass was the L.A. Mayor’s Office director of communications from December 2016 until March 2017. When she left to join the presidential campaign of her spouse, the mayor had just appointed her to her current post, directing that she remain as communications director.
It’s no coincidence Ms. Schlafly’s letter had been sent to Garcetti as he was considering the possibility of paying illegal aliens for their abortions, or supporting the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
I’m not calling Garcetti a murderer, but in 2016, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, his