DES MOINES, Iowa – The Des Moines City Council during their Monday meeting voted 5 to 2 to block further discussion of a proposed resolution introduced by Josh Mandelbaum that would prevent city funds from being used to in the enforcement of any state law prohibiting abortion and called for an ordinance to be passed to pay for out-of-state travel for city employees seeking an abortion.
The resolution also called for the codification of Roe v. Wade.
All of the council members but Mandelbaum, who represents Ward III and Indie Shoemaker, who represents Ward I, voted against the resolution.
The resolution is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center that overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood Casey and the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds that lifted the strict scrutiny requirement for abortion regulations.
Joe Gatto, who represents Ward IV, said the resolution was not in the city council’s purview.
“This shouldn’t even be on our agenda. This is contrary to state (and) federal law that we have, so I will make a motion immediately to deny any consideration for a workshop, any consideration for any type of resolution, this is not our purview. This is a political stunt being done by one council member sitting at this table. There is nothing we can do,” he said noting that abortion fight is at federal and state levels, not an issue to be debated at City Hall.
“This has nothing to do with providing basic services which is our job at the city to do that,” he added.
At-large Councilwoman Connie Boesen supports abortion rights, but did not agree that the city council should take up the resolution. She seconded Gatto’s motion because she also did not believe it was in the city council’s purview.
“I believe in women’s rights. I believe we have a choice. I believe all of that. I don’t believe these things are what we in the city should be doing and can do,” she said.
“I identified specific things that are within our purview, within this issue, knowing it’s part of a broader discussion, but this resolution focuses specifically on the things we can do and we should do,” he said.
Shoemaker also argued for the resolution.
“This is in our purview, it 100 percent is, every single piece of it is. It is not a political stunt to try to protect our residents, however, it is a political statement to deny this,” she said.
Read the resolution below:68i