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South Bend council sets new vote on anti-abortion group plan

May 12, 2018

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The South Bend Common Council will consider overriding the mayor’s veto of its decision to allow an anti-abortion rights center to open next to a proposed abortion clinic.

Council president Tim Scott said the override vote will occur Monday upon the request of two council members.

“I think it’s an important enough issue to let council people once again state their reasons why they’re for or against the rezoning,” Councilman John Voorde, who supports allowing the anti-abortion group’s request, told the South Bend Tribune .

The council voted 5-4 last month to grant the rezoning sought by Women’s Care Center so it could open near where Whole Woman’s Health Alliance wants to start a non-surgical abortion clinic. The Women’s Care Center provides counseling against abortions. Texas-based Whole Woman’s Health Alliance is appealing the Indiana State Health Department’s rejection of an abortion clinic license.

The neighborhood wouldn’t benefit from allowing “two organizations with deep and opposite commitments on the most divisive social issue of our time” next to each other, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said in a statement vetoing the rezoning.

At least one council member who opposed the rezoning will have to change their vote to override the veto.

Voorde argued that the abortion clinic would cause problems in the area, not the Women’s Care Center.

Council member Regina Williams-Preston voted against approving the rezoning, though she said she admires the work that Women’s Care Center does at other locations.

“What I haven’t heard yet is a compelling argument as to why Women’s Care Center can’t open up in a different location,” Williams-Preston said.

Women’s Care Center officials have said that the donor providing about $500,000 will only provide the money if the facility is located next to the proposed abortion clinic.

Williams-Preston said she plans to meet with some supporters of the anti-abortion rights center before the vote.


Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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