UPDATE: Bakersfield City Council committee approves preliminary anti-abortion resolution.
Today, the Bakersfield City Council may do what few city councils have been eager to do before: open its chamber doors for the public to debate a non-municipal and highly-divisive social issue.
At noon, the council’s Legislative and Litigation Committee will consider approving a preliminary resolution stating that the city “disfavors” abortion.
The controversial resolution has been watered down since the idea was first proposed.
Originally entitled “Restrictions on Termination of Human Life,” the resolution would have made it “unlawful within the city of Bakersfield for any entity to receive any form of consideration for the purpose of killing any inhabitants of the city.” The city had not intended to enforce such restrictions but rather allow those who are “aggrieved” by abortions to recover damages from the individual or organization administering the procedure.
A draft of the original resolution can be viewed here. Tim Palmquist of LifeSavers Ministries submitted the aforementioned draft to the council last spring.
Bakersfield City Attorney Ginny Gennaro warned that such a move would open the city up to substantial liability.
At the May 20 Legislative and Litigation Committee meeting, City Councilman Terry Maxwell agreed, “This is an emotional subject. My input on this is, I am against abortion 100 percent,” Maxwell said. “But we also have to balance this off of what are we opening the city up to.”
The council took heed of Gennaro’s warning and scrapped the original text of the resolution.
Its current form commends groups that spend time advocating for alternatives to abortion.
Read the full article at ABC 7.
For those with a subscription, in-depth coverage of the controversial move can be found at the Bakersfield Californian.