Following several weeks of controversy over his refusal to state a definitive position on abortion, Rod Linhares, candidate for San Mateo City Council, at last revealed his position.
He opposes California Proposition 1, which would enshrine abortion rights into the California constitution in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which stripped away federal abortion protections and left the issue up to states to govern.
In Mark Simon’s latest column for the San Mateo Daily Journal, Linhares is quoted as saying:
“While I would certainly uphold all the laws of California, given my personal experience I just cannot support Prop. 1. I was the product of an unwanted pregnancy. My biological mother wanted to abort me in the final trimester. My issue with Prop. 1 is the fact that it allows abortion in the last three months. If Prop. 1 was in place then, I wouldn’t be here. Thus, I cannot support Prop. 1.”
The controversy over Linhares’ position on the issue, first reported by Climate Magazine, surfaced after San Mateo Councilmember Amourence Lee surveyed all council candidates on their Prop. 1 stance. Linhares, who works as director of development for the Archdiocese of San Francisco – which has contributed to the campaign to defeat Prop. 1 – was evasive on the issue on multiple occasions, including when pressed by Lee, the media and during a candidate forum.
Pressure to clarify his position further grew as regional media outlets, such as the SF Chronicle and KQED, covered this race, publications which rarely cover city council races on the Peninsula.
Linhares’ stance, or lack thereof, sparked backlash from members on council and among pro-choice advocates, including representatives of Planned Parenthood, prompting State Sen. Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park) to rescind his endorsement for Linhares.
Following his announcement, pressure continues to mount for supporters to abandon their support for Linhares. Today, the Peninsula Young Democrats and LatinX Democratic Club called in an open letter addressed to Linhares’s endorsers to join Senator Becker in rescinding their endorsement. At the time of publication, no further endorsers have withdrawn their support.