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Phoenix City Council May Vote on Abortion Resolution Next Week

October 8, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

At next week’s policy meeting, the Phoenix City Council may decide on a proposed resolution to withhold city resources from enforcing abortion restrictions or bans. 

The mayor’s communications director, Jeanine L’Ecuyer, informed AZ Free News of this adjusted timeline on Tuesday. The city council was expected to vote on the resolution last month. A copy of the resolution has yet to be made available for public review. City government staff were tasked with crafting the resolution back in June. 

This week, the Phoenix Police Department instructed 911 dispatchers to not send patrol cars in response to calls reporting illegal abortions. Instead, dispatchers are to hand off the report to higher-ranking officers.

According to the PPD directive, they will notify their Violent Crimes Bureau (VCB) of the calls, who will then assign an investigator to follow up with the complainant.

L’Ecuyer didn’t confirm with AZ Free News whether the council or mayor directed PPD to issue this policy. This was her response to our inquiry:

“Typically, when a law or policy is put into place that may affect City operations, City leadership including the Law Department determine how/if City staff should adjust our processes,” stated L’Ecuyer. “Then, this is communicated to the appropriate staff so they have guidance on any impacts to their duties.”

If the Phoenix City Council approves the resolution next week, they will follow in the footsteps of the city of Tucson. In the wake of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling, the Tucson City Council passed a resolution in June effectively making their city a safe haven for abortions. Their resolution enables police to not arrest those who violate abortion law.

The Pima County Superior Court reinstated Arizona’s total abortion ban last month, and then last week denied a petition by Planned Parenthood to suspend the ban since they argued it conflicts with the 15-week limit on abortions codified earlier this year. 

On Tuesday, Democrats in the state legislature petitioned Governor Doug Ducey to convene a special session to repeal the state’s total ban on abortions. The ban dates back to 1901, over a decade before Arizona achieved statehood. It doesn’t prosecute the mother for receiving an abortion, and allows abortions to save the mother’s life.

The most recent abortion restriction limiting abortions to 15 weeks stipulated that it doesn’t repeal the 1901 abortion ban.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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