The non-partisan U.S. Conference of Mayors voted on Saturday to pass a resolution in support of women’s reproductive rights and funding for Planned Parenthood.
The group, made up on representatives from about 1200 cities, held their 80th annual meeting in Orlando, Florida and as Laura Bassett reports, took up the resolution in specific response to the ongoing attacks on women’s health by the right. “When it comes to reproductive health decisions, nobody knows better than an individual woman what is best for herself and her family,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “New York City is committed to supporting a woman’s right to choose and ensuring that all New Yorkers have the information, and access to care, they need to make safe and healthy decisions.”
The resolution offers a worst-of-the-worst look at state and federal lawmakers’ attempts to restrict women’s access to abortion and family planning services, including attempts to mandate ultrasounds before abortions, 20 week abortion bans, efforts to compel the IRS to audit rape survivors who have abortions and allow hospitals to refuse emergency abortion care to women. The mayors promise to fight back against these efforts in the future and to speak out on behalf of their female constituents.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said she was “inspired” by the coalition’s move.
“In a political climate with so much hostility toward women’s freedom and privacy, I am thrilled to see more leaders respecting a woman’s ability to make her own decisions regarding her health and privacy,” Keenan said. “These mayors collectively represent millions of Americans in communities where the public-health programs and clinics under attack by members of Congress and state legislators provide basic care for their residents. We are inspired by the mayors who supported this resolution, and we salute them for stepping up in support of women’s freedom and privacy.”
The resolution may not hold significant political sway, but it is am important symbolic commitment to women that at least some of their elected officials will not treat their lives like a political football. The next obvious step is to move beyond symbolic resolutions and toward legislation that embraces the humanity of women instead of denies it.
Photo from fibonacciblue via flickr.