Council passes resolution in support of reproductive health care

Council passes resolution in support of reproductive health care
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Evanston will wage its own response to the recent US Supreme Court decision striking down Roe vs. Wade, with city departments directed to explore ways to support and protect individuals seeking reproductive health care, including abortions.

Eileen Hogan Heineman holds up a wire coat hanger and a sign opposing the abortion rights rollback at a May 2022 North Shore rally. Credit: Wendi Kromash

Evanston City Council members voted 6-0 on Aug. 8 in support of the resolution proposed by Mayor Daniel Biss and Council member Juan Geracaris (9th Ward), reaffirming the city of Evanston’s commitment to the protection of fundamental reproductive health care rights.

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In June, the US Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the Constitution of the United States does not confer a right to an abortion, triggering reaction from abortion rights groups at the state and national levels. The ruling essentially overturns the longstanding ruling in Roe v. Wade, which served as the lade of the land since the decision was handed down in 1973.

The Council’s resolution “reaffirms the City’s commitment to protecting the fundamental reproductive health care rights of all Evanston residents and all who visit Evanston to seek reproductive health care services,” Alison Leipsiger, the city’s policy coordinator, wrote in a memo.

The resolution directs several departments or divisions of the city to support and protect individuals seeking reproductive health services.

The directive included calling on the city’s Purchasing Department “to explore the possibility of taking into consideration the reproductive health care policies provided by potential vendors to its employees in procurement policies,” Leipsiger said in her memo.

And the Evanston Police Department is directed “to develop and implement protocols to protect the privacy of individuals who may be sought by law enforcement in other jurisdictions who seek to criminalize individuals seeking abortion,” the memo continued.

With the resolution, “in a broader sense,” said Council member Devon Reid (8th Ward), during the Council’s discussion of the resolution at the meeting, “we are reaffirming our commitment to folks having bodily autonomy and to the government not interfering with that bodily autonomy.”

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