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City of Boise won't prioritize or use resources to investigate abortions

Boise City Council meeting on July 18, 2022.{p}{/p}
Boise City Council meeting on July 18, 2022.

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During Tuesday's City Council meeting, members voted four to two to adopt a resolution limiting the city's response and involvement in future investigations of possible abortions taking place.

“There’s an expectation that we will divert public safety resources to investigate claims, to investigate doctors, to investigate individuals, and that’s not something that our city will do because there are other higher priorities when it comes to public safety," said Mayor Lauren McLean.

Through the resolution, the city council "affirms its commitment to protecting its residents’ rights, including the right to make reproductive health decisions for themselves."

Holli Woodings, President Pro Tem, voted in favor and said, "We don’t want the money our taxpayers entrust to us to be infringing on the privacy of our citizens." She added this action is Boise-specific and highlights the city's uniqueness within the state of Idaho.

Council Member Jimmy Hallyburton voted in favor because, he said, he wanted to assure people worried about rights know Boise will stand up for them.

"They’re wondering if the community they live in is a place for them," he said. "They’re wondering, is Boise a place where I want to be, where I feel safe, where I can raise a family?"

Council Member Lisa Sanchez voted in favor because she worried women would be too scared to call an ambulance over a possible ectopic pregnancy or a doctor would hesitate to treat a pregnant woman in need.

Council Member Luci Willits dissented and said, "We need to get back to the business of Boise and not charge into these issues that nationalize our city council or that hyper-polarize local government. We need to focus on what we were elected to do."

Council President Elaine Clegg, who said she remembered the time before Roe V. Wade, voted against the resolution because she didn't think it was a city issue and because local elected officials aren't given the same power as state officials.

"I think the city council should tread carefully," she said, "As strongly as I feel about this issue, I can’t support this resolution but I fully support the Mayor and Police Chief to make the right administrative decisions."

This resolution came in response to the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and Idaho's "trigger law" meant to follow.

The Idaho GOP on Wednesday criticized the council's decision.

"Last night, the radical Democrat leaders of the City of Boise unilaterally decided to undermine duly-enacted Idaho law by ignoring the protections passed by the Idaho Legislature to value and protect life. Let us be clear that this resolution, if acted upon, is a flagrant violation of the rule of law and an affront to the sovereign authority of the people of Idaho. Additionally, the casual contempt for the law expressed by these radical Democrats sets a dangerous precedent.

You can read the whole resolution here.

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