Cincinnati council passes ordinance to allow elective abortions in city

The city of Cincinnati has unanimously voted to repeal an ordinance that restricts the city's ability to cover elective abortions in its health plan.The repeal of the 2001 ordinance allows the administration to change the city's health plan to include abortion-related services to the extent allowed by Ohio law. Anti-abortion activists sat mostly silent and respectful, holding signs that made it clear where they stood on the issue.Last Friday's Supreme Court decision was formally denounced in an 8-1 vote by Council resolution.“This item is a crucial and overdue step for supporting our employees and their families. It's only one part of our actions,” Mayor Aftab Pureval said in a statement. “I'm extremely proud of all the members of this City government for coming together to fight back against the shameful decisions of the Supreme Court and the Ohio State Legislature. Will we not stop defending the rights of the women of our City.” Republican Liz Keating tried for a middle ground compromise.”I'm a Catholic Republican woman, mother, coming to the table to find some consensus here to be able to make a powerful statement in something that divides us,”. Keating said. As those against abortion looked on, Keating said she was willing to support choice up to the end of the first trimester or up to when a woman's health is in jeopardy.”Without these amendments this resolution is too extreme for me because this leaves it open to late-term abortions,”. Continued Keating.The vote makes way for the city manager to institute a travel reimbursement policy for costs associated with travel to receive health care services that aren’t locally available. “This is about making sure our city employees have access to any eligible medical care that isn't available here, regardless of future statewide laws,”. Pureval said during a news conference Monday. Pureval has also directed the administration to provide a report on opportunities to decriminalise abortion in Cincinnati and to prioritise law enforcement resources to protect the health and safety of women and medical care providers.

The city of Cincinnati has unanimously voted to repeal an ordinance that restricts the city's ability to cover elective abortions in its health plan.

The repeal of the 2001 ordinance allows the administration to change the city's health plan to include abortion-related services to the extent allowed by Ohio law.

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Anti-abortion activists sat mostly silent and respectful, holding signs that made it clear where they stood on the issue.

Last Friday's Supreme Court decision was formally denounced in an 8-1 vote by Council resolution.

“This item is a crucial and overdue step for supporting our employees and their families. It's only one part of our actions,” Mayor Aftab Pureval said in a statement. “I'm extremely proud of all the members of this City government for coming together to fight back against the shameful decisions of the Supreme Court and the Ohio State Legislature. Will we not stop defending the rights of the women of our City.”

Republican Liz Keating tried for a middle ground compromise.

“I'm a Catholic Republican woman, mother, coming to the table to find some consensus here to be able to make a powerful statement in something that divides us,”. Keating said.

As those against abortion looked on, Keating said she was willing to support choice up to the end of the first trimester or up to when a woman's health is in jeopardy.

“Without these amendments this resolution is too extreme for me because this leaves it open to late-term abortions,”. Continued Keating.

The vote makes way for the city manager to institute a travel reimbursement policy for costs associated with travel to receive health care services that aren’t locally available.

“This is about making sure our city employees have access to any eligible medical care that isn't available here, regardless of future statewide laws,”. Pureval said during a news conference Monday.

Pureval has also directed the administration to provide a report on opportunities to decriminalise abortion in Cincinnati and to prioritise law enforcement resources to protect the health and safety of women and medical care providers.

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