Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

San Diego connection to SCOTUS abortion pill case

 March 27, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Wednesday, March 27th>>>>

There’s a San Diego connection to the Supreme Court case on an abortion medication.

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

Teachers who've gotten layoff notices from San Diego Unified rallied outside the school district's headquarters yesterday evening (tuesday), before the regular school board meeting.

Earlier this month, the board approved layoffs for more than 400 staffers... trying to cover a budget deficit of nearly 94-million dollars.

The teachers' union says the district has the financial resources to avoid the layoffs.

Kristen Harper is one of the teachers who got a pink slip.

"There's also a rainy day fund that the district could use to help us get to that point."

But trustee Cody Petterson says the district has to plan for the worst.

"Ultimately the board is responsible for guaranteeing the immediate, medium term, long-term well-being of the whole. and in relation to that i do believe the issuing of pink slips was necessary."

One unknown at this time is how much money the district will get from the state, which is also facing a budget deficit.


Crime in the city of San Diego was down last year, for the second year in a row.

There was a nearly 3-percent overall drop in crime, including a more than 13 percent decrease in homicides.

The number of sexual assault and gang-related crimes also fell.

The report showed San Diego’s violent crime rate is one of the lowest of major cities in the U-S.

However, hate crime reports increased from 38 cases in 20-22 to 66 cases in 20-23.


The SDSU Men’s basketball team is headed to the Sweet 16 of the N-C double A tournament tomorrow (Thursday).

The Aztecs will play the U-conn Huskies in the regional semifinal in Boston.

It’ll be a rematch of last year’s championship game, when the Huskies beat the Aztecs 76 to 59.

Tip off for tomorrow’s game is at 4-39 p-m, and you can watch it on T-B-S.


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


The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday (Tuesday) in a case on a widely used abortion medication with potential nationwide implications.

Health reporter Heidi de Marco has more on the San Diego connection.

In the latest Supreme Court case, the focus is on the accessibility of the abortion drug mifepristone and whether the FDA unlawfully eased restrictions for patients to obtain it. Anti-abortion groups claim the FDA fast-tracked approval of the drug without studying its safety or potential impacts on minors. Among the plaintiffs is Escondido doctor George Delgado who did not respond to interview requests. He is known for a protocol using the hormone progesterone to reverse medical abortions. Medical groups say it lacks scientific support. San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer is pushing for enhanced availability of the drug. Whatever happens at the federal level, whatever the Trump activist judiciary imposes on the country, that we're protected here in our own community and that we have a sufficient stockpile of these really vital prescription medicines. A ruling is expected in June. Heidi de Marco, KPBS News


CDC data shows that a rising number of high school students are reporting poor mental health.

This week, our newsroom is looking at mental health in schools.

Reporter Katie Hyson spoke with people trying to identify the need for help in kids as young as second grade.

School therapist Shea Prophet says he grew up with a single mother and few opportunities. His no-nonsense cadence and ramrod straight posture hint at his military background. After two tours he became a correctional officer. I did find myself seeing some of the inmates and seeing a reflection of myself, seeing the challenges that they faced. And if they would have had somebody or a resource, would they still be in this situation? He would give the incarcerated men advice. Try to help with their transition out. I used to get feedback from my supervisors, like, that's not what you're here for. If you want to do this, you need to go back to school and become a counselor. So he did. But then he had what he calls an epiphany. If I was going to be a correctional counselor, you had to go to a facility in order to see me. You had to have already got in trouble or done some sort of crime, and then I can give you a service. So during school, I decided to go into preventative maintenance. He went back to where the school to prison pipeline starts: with children, like himself, who need resources and aren’t getting them. Now a program director for SBCS, formerly South Bay Community Services, he oversees an enormous task. To screen San Ysidro School District students, 2nd through 8th grade, and provide them with the right behavioral and emotional health services. He asks them questions, like – Do you like school? Are you turning your homework in on time? Are you able to get along well with others? His team  places students who need a little extra support into groups to learn things like conflict resolution and emotional regulation. They sometimes connect high risk students with therapists. Prophet says the screening, now in its first full year, addresses a key problem. A lot of students who need help don’t seek it. Beforehand, all my referrals would come from either the teachers or the parents, but it kind of eliminates the voice of the student themselves. Screening lets them bring the services to the students. They also work with caregivers. If we're putting a BandAid on it, we're working with them at school, and then they go home and it gets washed off because they don't have the appropriate services or they don't have the resources available to them, then a lot of our work is just going in circles. So we try to reach out to the families and see what resources they might need. What do students themselves think? I look at mental health and the current mental health crisis that the youth are at not as so much a cause, but rather as a symptom of many other ways we're neglecting and failing our students. That’s Matthew Quitoriano. High school junior and San Diego Unified student board member. Bell schedule and also the pressure of increasingly low acceptance rates within colleges creates a culture that really is focused on academics and not all the wonderful things that you can learn in high school, like how to make friends. Quitoriano says some of the mental health work in schools is being led by students. With UCSD, they’re designing a new curriculum. Using the classroom as a space to say, hey, the same way we talk about, here's what to do if you get scraped on the playground, here's what to do if you hit your head – the same way that we treat physical injuries, we also want to think about how do we care for our mental health. State funding has allowed three schools to create wellness centers. Where students can maybe take 10, 15 minutes out of their day and just sit in a calming space. They're wonderful and they have great snacks. But he says it’s hard to staff centers at all schools because of limited resources. Having an inclusive space is great, but without someone in there to look after to make sure that people are really being supported in that space, these wellness centers really can't be reaching their full potential. Despite more mental health initiatives in schools, some students fall through the cracks. Tomorrow, we’ll look at a group facing some of the highest needs – and biggest barriers. LGBTQ+ students. Katie Hyson, KPBS News


Two Republican candidates are heading to the general election in the race for the 75th assembly district.

Reporter Scott Rodd has more.

Republicans Carl DeMaio and Andrew Hayes will face off in November to represent this rural Assembly district…which covers most of East San Diego County. And includes a 50-mile stretch of the southern border. DeMaio has maintained a strong lead since the first results dropped. “We’re running against the powerful, corrupt interests of a broken political system. And they do not want me in Sacramento because they know that I’m an independent voice that will fight.” The race for second place was much tighter. Hayes only secured the spot when Democrat Kevin Juza conceded in recent days. Hayes supports tightening border security and being tougher on crime…though he says he’s willing to work across party lines in Sacramento. “At the end of the day, my job is not to just scream really loudly. My job is to serve my constituents and get something done.” Under state election laws, the top-two primary finishers in Assembly races…regardless of party…face off in the general election in November.


Coming up… We hear from a local family struggling to find childcare. That and more, just after the break.


Vietnam veterans and their families were at Miramar national cemetery yesterday (Tuesday) for a ceremony marking Vietnam veterans day.

Military and veterans reporter Andrew Dyer has more.

It's an overcast and drizzly morning at the cemetery as veterans and their families pause and remember the war. In a short speech, marine col. Brendan Sullivan talked about how it impacted his family as the son of a marine officer severely wounded in 1965. He tells KPBS his family didn’t talk about it while his father was alive. “You know, after my father passed, I think we changed our minds on that and and have become willing to talk about it, uh, more but there's a lot of pain. With amongst the veterans and their family members.” he says it’s important to honor these veterans now. “they gave so much and received so little.” In 2012, president Barack Obama proclaimed Vietnam veterans day March 29. That was the day in 1973 U.S. combat operations ended. Vietnam Veterans Day will be observed officially friday. Andrew Dyer, KPBS news


The San Diego Unified School Board was supposed to consider a resolution last night (Tuesday), recognizing April as Arab American Heritage month.

But the item was unexpectedly pulled from the agenda.

Education reporter M.G. Perez tells us why..

““it’s very important for us that we are defining our own narratives rather than the board succumbing to external pressure.” Farida Erikat is the youth program manager for the Arab Community Center of San Diego. For the past couple of weeks, she and other community leaders have worked with San Diego Unified on a resolution honoring Arab American Heritage in April. But unexpected last-minute edits by the board eliminated references to specific Arab-speaking countries… and Palestine. That upset members of the community… and now the item is being revised. “we hope that it is a step for us to have a partnership with the school board, with faculty, with students and be able to actually shape the culture there.” The resolution was co-authored by Board Vice President Cody Petterson.. “we are fully committed to our Arab American community and in particular to our students and staff. It’s an issue obviously entangled alot geo-politically…my commitment is to have a resolution we can all be proud of.” The board is now scheduled to consider the revised resolution at their April 16th meeting. MG Perez, KPBS News


Our newsroom recently launched a six part series, about the childcare crisis.

It’s called Where’s My Village.

We also hosted a child care resource fair for families and providers over the weekend.

Reporter and creator of the series, Tania Thorne, says families in the community need the help.

Families and childcare providers filled the KPBS community engagement room to learn more about the child care system in San Diego. Like the Carnahan family. Dominic is in the Navy and Rebecca is a teacher. They welcomed their baby Sylvia 5 weeks ago. Rebecca and Dominic Carnahan/NEW PARENTS We don't have family so we don't have that as a childcare option. So theres a lot of anxiety, at least from me surrounding the childcare issue. Im a teacher and I go back to work in August so were looking for childcare for then. Were really just starting and were feeling really far behind right now. They both said they feel lost navigating the childcare system and disappointed at the lack of support. Advocates at the event announced they’re pushing for a ballot measure to fund childcare in the 2026 election.Tania Thorne KPBS News 


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join us again tomorrow for the day’s top stories. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Wednesday.

Ways To Subscribe
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case on a widely used abortion medication with potential nationwide implications. In other news, CDC data shows that a rising number of high school students are reporting poor mental health. This week, our newsroom is looking at mental health in schools. Plus, the San Diego Unified School Board was supposed to consider a resolution recognizing April as Arab American Heritage month, but the item was unexpectedly pulled from the agenda.