Saratoga Springs residents voice support of resolution protecting reproductive rights

Woman holds flag that reads "Bans Off Our Bodies, Don't Tread on Me"

Lezlie Dana holds a flag in support of reproductive rights. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — As people got up to address the City Council at its meeting Tuesday, Lezlie Dana unfolded a Gadsden flag with the words ‘Bans Off Our Bodies” written in red on it. 

On the other side of Music Hall Linda LeTendre held a banner that said “Roe, Roe, Roe Your Vote.” 

The two women were among around 10 people who made statements during a public hearing to amend the city code to include a section on protecting reproductive rights.

The City Council was originally set to approve the resolution Tuesday but will wait until its first meeting in April as it reviews language in the code to ensure that the code wouldn’t hinder someone from sharing their medical information with an insurance company upon their approval,  but wouldn’t allow that information to be shared with anyone else. 

Under the code. no city resources would be used to detain people who “perform, aid or obtain lawful abortions” and states that the city will not provide “information to other jurisdictions about lawful abortions,” according to a press release from Mayor Ron Kim. 

Kim said Tuesday this action comes as more and more states ban on abortions. 

There are currently 13 states with abortion bans, according to a New York Times article updated on Thursday. Five states have restrictions on abortions, such as Arizona, which bans abortions after 15 weeks. Six states have bans on abortion, but the bans are currently blocked by court rulings. There are 27 states that have legalized abortion, with some like New York providing additional protections.  

Sue Gardner, a member of the Saratoga Caucus for Reproductive Rights, said this issue is important to her, in part due to her two daughters. 

“I’ve been around a long time, long enough that I was there before abortion was legal and it was a horrible time for girls and women,” she said. “You lived in fear of being pregnant. You suffered emotionally and physically with back-alley abortions.” 

She also said abortions are healthcare and used in situations where a mother may die if she continues the pregnancy. 

Gardner said many people in New York have become complacent because abortions are legal in the state, but that could change if an anti-choice governor or Legislature is in office. 

Planned Parenthood volunteer Barb Thomas also voiced support for the resolution. 

“Last year’s Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade highlights the importance of protecting access to abortion care in our state,” she said. “That decision will force millions of Americans to travel to New York and other states where abortion is legal.”

Resident Rose Tait said she wasn’t sure why the council was looking to pass such a measure.

“I do believe it’s pretty clear how the state of New York feels about this,” she said. “I don’t know why the city of Saratoga Springs is getting involved in this unless it’s open season on Catholics, of which I’m one.” 

Categories: -News, News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs

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