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Cross-border abortion access

 May 11, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday May 11th>>>>

Going to Mexico for abortion accessMore on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines…######

An ex-caregiver and convicted sex offender pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually assaulting two women in San Diego area nursing homes.
A jury convicted Matthew Fluckiger in March of sexually assaulting a woman at La Mesa’s Parkway Hills nursing home in January 2020.
But the jury hung on counts involving two other women.
Prosecutors planned to retry Fluckiger on the deadlocked counts next month before he made a plea deal.
The agreement means Fluckiger faces 25 years to life in prison.


The state is giving two blocks of Downtown San Diego to a developer to turn into affordable housing, market-rate units, office space and retail.

The state awarded the “excess” property to the Michaels Organization as part of an executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom to spur housing development.

The property is near State and Ash Streets downtown.

The state, the city and the developer will spend the next few months working on the project concept.


Yelp has named San Diego’s Homebrewing Company the TOP brewery in the state.

Homebrewing Company is both a brewery and homebrew supply shop in North Park off of El cajon boulevard.

Yelp’s designation for the brewery comes just before American Craft Beer week starts on Monday.

Homebrewing company began in 2012.

And it was the first shop to receive “Homebrew Shop of the Year” from the American Homebrewers association in 2018.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

Baja California’s first legal abortion clinics opened in March. Providers hope this is the start of safe and legal access to abortions on the Mexican side of the border.

KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis says the clinics are already attracting patients from the United States, and will likely attract more with Roe vs Wade hanging in the balance.

Tijuana is an established destination for medical tourism. Americans can get root canals, plastic surgery and even liposuctions at a fraction of the price they pay back home.

Now that abortion is legal in Baja California, a medical company called ProFem is trying to add abortions to this list. Even as reproductive rights face an existential threat in the United States with the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe vs Wade.

Luisa Garcia is the director of ProFem. She says Tijuana has the potential to be a go-to destination for Americans seeking legal, convenient and low-cost abortions in Mexico.

“Yo creo que Tijuana próximamente se puede hacer como la capital de la interrupción para todas las personas que quieran venir de otros estados o lo quieran manejar más discretamente o que lo quieran resolver inmediatamente.”

In October 2021, Baja California legalized abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy – and longer in cases of rape or when a woman’s life is in danger.

ProFem has operated a legal abortion clinic in Mexico City for 15 years. They opened the new Tijuana clinic March 17. The procedure starts at $200. There is no wait period.

Garcia says they have already served patients from border cities in California and Arizona.

“Está siendo San Diego, San Ysidro, Calexico, Yuma, Cathedra, Phoenix.”

However, there are several challenges to expanding abortion access in Baja California.

Garcia says lack of education is still one of the top issues. Her patients often ask if they are breaking the law or if having an abortion will prevent them from being able to get pregnant in the future.

Another obstacle is finding a landlord willing to rent to them. Garcia says ProFem was denied a lease because the landlord didn’t want to be associated with abortion providers.

“A diferencia que en Tijuana empezamos a ver en un lugar y al momento de yo estar solicitando información de hacer la apertura, en una torre medica me dicen no porque es para interrupción. Aqui es ilegal.”

Dr. Arturo Posada works at the new Tijuana clinic. He asked me not to take photos of the building or even the waiting room.

He doesn’t want anyone to harass patients who come in for treatment the way some pro-life groups do in the U.S.

The clinic is in a Tijuana office building with dozens of other medical tenants. There are several buildings like this in Tijuana – many catering to medical tourism.

Posada believes women have the freedom and right to decide what to do with their pregnancies. He recognizes that throughout history they’ve been largely denied that right.. Not just in Mexico but all over the world.

“De alguna manera nosotros pensamos que la mujer tiene toda la Libertad y el derecho de decidir sobre sus embarazos no. y siempre lo ha sido. Namas que toda la vida lo a sido negado para las mujeres y no namas aqui, yo creo que en todo el mundo.”

Posada says the clinics in Tijuana and Mexicali have served about 100 patients since opening. The vast majority are from Mexico. But Posada’s noticed a steady increase in women from the United States crossing the border to seek his services.

He says the numbers are small, but they increase every month.

“Parece que va incrementándose el número de personas que vienen de estados Unidos.”

The first month, there was only one. Then three. In April, there were five. One woman is from Texas. And this is all through word of mouth. The clinic doesn’t advertise in the United States.

Arizona and Texas are two border states where abortion will likely be banned if the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade. Posada suspects that if that happens, his numbers will keep going up.

Gustavo Solis, KPBS News


San Diego County officials are reaching out to city leaders countywide to help create more homeless shelters across the region. County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says cities will be asked to provide the shelter space and the county will offer onsite mental health services and public benefits assistance. KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman has more.

The board of supervisors is voting May 24th on a measure that if passed would allocate 10 million dollars in start up money to help cities launch their own shelter programs ---

Tamera Kohler who leads the regional task force on homelessness, says in any given city, up to 90 percent of the unsheltered are from that area.

Tamera Kohler, Regional Task Force on the Homelessness CEO

And they want to stay close to home. So this is why it’s so important to site these in each of our smaller communities -- that’s where they last were housed it’s where we have the greatest chance to house them again

The proposal from the county still requires investments from individual cities -- they would need to run or contract out day to day shelter operations.. That includes intake services and providing food, security and showers. MH KPBS News.


Veteran unemployment remains low coming out of the pandemic.

KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh says vets still face challenges in the job market.

Unemployment rates among veterans ticked up slightly in April to 3 percent, according to the US Department of Labor. But that’s still part of an overall decline in recent months. Lindsay Livingston with Veterans Village says some vets are left behind.

“Even though the numbers may look one way, we’re still seeing veterans come to us with a lot of the same struggles.”

Livingston says finding work in that first year after a person leaves the military is particularly difficult.

“A lot of times our veterans do struggle in that area. Especially if they went straight into the service out of high school. They may not have actually done a job interview before.”

Some question the veteran unemployment figures. The group Call of Duty recently issued a report saying the numbers don’t show - among other things - how many veterans remain underemployed. Steve Walsh KPBS News

Steve Walsh KPBS News


San Diego researchers have discovered large pools of ancient water under the ice in Antarctica. KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

This is the first-time scientists have confirmed the presence of groundwater under the massive ice sheet that covers Antarctica. Scripps Institution of Oceanography post-doctoral student Chloe Gustafson traveled to the continent with a small team from San Diego and Columbia University. She says they spent weeks using special instruments to measure the electric and magnetic fields within ice that can be hundreds of meters thick.

“Geophysics are its heart is really similar to medical imaging. It’s like taking an MRI of the earth just on a larger scale.”

Gustafson says the presence of the water, some of it in huge reservoirs, could speed up the movement of ice above it. That could accelerate the continent’s ice shedding, by speeding up the natural ice flows. And that could raise sea levels. The findings are published in the Journal Science.

Erik Anderson KPBS News


Coming up....voters are likely the least familiar with judicial candidates. We’ll have a resource that can help you make an informed choice.

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla will appear on California’s June primary ballot twice … in separate but related contests.

CapRadio’s Chris Nichols explains.

Padilla is running in one contest to finish former U-S Senator Kamala Harris’ term … which ends in January … But he’s also competing for a new 6-year-term which would start right after.

Padilla was appointed early last year by Governor Gavin Newsom to fill Harris’ seat when she was sworn in as Vice President.

But the appointment could have faced legal opposition, according to Wesley Hussey, a political science professor at Sacramento State.

“Courts have said if you’re going to have an election, you can’t just have a person occupy the seat forever, there has to be a chance for voters to approve or not approve them.”

To avoid that, Newsom signed a law that requires voters to decide whether an appointed U.S. Senator should serve out the remainder of a term.

Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation says Padilla’s double billing could cause confusion:

"I think everybody involved in voter education is going to have to make an extra effort to make sure that voters understand that this is happening and that this isn’t a mistake.” (

The top two vote getters in each Senate contest will move forward to the general election … meaning voters will be asked to decide on these races again in November.

In Sacramento, I’m Chris Nichols.


Of all the candidates running for office, voters often know the least about the judicial candidates. That’s where the San Diego county bar association steps in. David Majchrzak is president of the association. He spoke with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Cavanaugh.

That was David Majchrzak president of the San Diego county bar association, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Cavanaugh.


Protests and some celebrations erupted across the Philippines on Monday after early counting showed Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is likely bound for the presidency.

KPBS Race and Equity reporter Cristina Kim spoke with members of the San Diego Filipino diaspora (die-as-per-ruh) about what this election means to them.

Filipino Americans and immigrants in San Diego… home to the fifth largest Filipino community in the nation … have been watching the Filipino presidential election closely….

Our struggles aren't divorce. So what's happening in the Philippines is directly connected to us here in the US.

That’s Angela Subido. She grew up in National City and is part of Anakbayan, a Filipino volunteer youth organization in San Diego. She says she’s afraid that the apparent election of the son and namesake of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos will usher in yet another era of martial law and impunity ….

It's very disappointing to see the return of the Marcoses into power, especially since they aren't qualified to be politicians in general given their history of corruption in the Philippines.

Still some Filipino Americans in San Diego like Ditas Yamane also of National City say that the people should hold out hope that Marcos will be different than his father.

He's his own person. He's his own individual. He's got his own perspective. He's got his own visions and goals. I think giving him that chance.

The election has divided people in the US as much as the Philippines with protests taking place against Marcos in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

Cristina Kim. KPBS News.

Artist and former San Diego resident Dave Stevens is probably best known for creating The Rocketeer– a comic book that became a movie in 1991. But Stevens, who died in 2008, did much more than just the Rocketeer.

A new exhibit at the Comic-Con museum explores Stevens’ life, legacy and personal collection. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with Dave's sister Jennifer Stevens-Bawcum, who manages the Rocketeer Trust that provided the materials for the exhibit.

That was Beth Accomando speaking with Jennifer Stevens-Bawcum. Comic-Con Museum is currently hosting the exhibit 'Dave Stevens and the Rocketeer: Art For Art’s Sake.'

That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

Ways To Subscribe
Abortion clinics in Mexico are already seeing patients from the U.S. With the current turmoil over Roe v. Wade, clinics there are expecting to see even more cross-border patients. Meanwhile, San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher has a proposal for city leaders countywide: you provide the shelter space and the county will offer onsite mental health services and public benefits assistance. Plus, how to learn more about the candidates running for three San Diego County Superior Court judicial seats in the June primary.