Philadelphia City Council members passed three bills last week aimed at strengthening abortion within the city. The legislation, created in response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, was introduced by councilmembers Jamie Gauthier and Kendra Brooks along with former councilmember Helen Gym, who is running for mayor next year.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the bills do three things: restrict abortionists from disclosing patient information, allow people facing out-of-state abortion-related litigation to countersue in Philadelphia courts, and ensure that women who want abortion are protected in the workplace.
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The first two bills were passed on a 15-1 vote, with councilmember David Oh dissenting, while the workplace discrimination bill was passed unanimously.
“As the elected representatives of this city, we cannot idly stand by and let residents and legislators in far away states control what goes on here in Philadelphia,” Gauthier said. “This is a public health issue. We need to protect the safety of all birthing persons, babies, and children here in Philadelphia, regardless of whether they call this city home, by strengthening their right to privacy when accessing reproductive healthcare.”
“This legislation ensures that no matter who you are or where you work, your reproductive health decisions can’t be used against you,” Brooks said.
While Gauthier invokes the legislation as a way to ensure that babies and children are safe, the opposite is true — abortion is a violent act that ends the life of an innocent child. More could be done to offer resources and assistance to mothers in need so that they feel better equipped to keep their babies, but instead, easier access to abortion is the top priority.
This is not the first pro-abortion action the city has taken following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision. In August, Mayor Jim Kenney announced that the city sent $500,000 to the Abortion Liberation Fund of PA, which provides financial assistance to women who can’t afford abortion. That action was done seemingly without the backing of city council legislation.
The bills are now headed to the desk of Kenney, who is expected to sign.