News That Matters

Tampa City Council votes on supporting resident’s rights to make reproductive health decisions, including abortion

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa City Council passed a resolution 5-2 Thursday, that would support a person’s right to privacy when it comes to getting an abortion.

However, it was not the resolution proposed by the lone city councilwoman.

Tampa city councilwoman Lynn Hurtak proposed a resolution and so did the city’s legal department.

Both say, the council condemns any action intended to abrogate the fundamental liberties of people and affirms its commitment to protecting the rights of its residents to make reproductive health decisions, including abortion care, for themselves, and the city council will not approve funding for actions that would criminalize Tampa residents from making reproductive health decisions.

However, there’s an added line in the legal’s resolution, “except as may be required by state or federal law.”

Hurtak believes that negates the point. She and councilman Gudes voted “no” for the legal department’s resolution.

“That state or federal law in my interpretation meant the 15-week abortion ban that I’ve had doctors share their personal stories about the patients they aren’t able to help anymore that they could help before,” Hurtak said.

Hurtak was emotional after the vote.

“It upsets me as a woman,” Hurtak said. “It upsets me just listening to those stories and thinking that that could be me. That could be a friend.”

Hurtak’s resolution did not want funding approved for any organization operating a crisis pregnancy center or pregnancy resource center which opposes legal abortion, and she wanted enforcement towards anyone who wants an abortion a low priority.

Both are taken out of the city’s legal department’s resolution.

“It’s my health, too and it’s every single woman in the state of Florida’s health,” Hurtak said.

Council chair Joe Citro says he voted for the city’s resolution because he didn’t want to overstep boundaries.

“I’m not afraid of any lawsuits that come, but through what we have seen, our apprenticeship resolution, there are people in Tallahassee that are ready to write preemption,” Citro said.

He believes Thursday’s decision is a win for women.

“It was a win for the city of Tampa and it sent a clear-cut message,” Citro said.

The resolution which was voted on Thursday mirrors a recent city resolution that passed in Austin, Texas. Council will modify it to fit the city and state rules and regulations.

Hurtak and Citro said they hope to work on an actual ordinance next.

Source link