Pro-life, pro-choice advocates react to mayor's decision to veto vote
“I know that the decision was a difficult one and that he had to talk to lots of different people and really listen to a lot of different sides of the argument,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman's Health Alliance.
Under pressure from both pro-life and pro-choice advocates over the past year, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg made the call to veto a vote that allowed the rezoning of the Women’s Care Center to move in right next to a proposed abortion clinic on Lincoln Way west in South Bend.
The decision comes after pro-choice advocates and members of the common council saw the potential move-in as unnecessary for both future visitors and residents in the neighborhood.
“We are deeply saddened that care for women and families in South Bend got caught up in politics. Women’s care center has worked tirelessly for 34 years to provide health and hope to women and families,” said Jenny Hunsberger, Vice President at Women's Care Center.
Mayor Buttigieg announced his decision Friday afternoon saying he has great respect for the Women’s Care Center and their services but that the proximity of the two buildings being next to each other pose a risk to the character and value of the neighborhood.
“We’re used to having bumps in the road and we’re used to staying the course and honoring our commitment. One thing that you should know about Whole Woman’s Health is that we’re always in it for the long haul,” said Hagstrom Miller.
Pro Choice South Bend advocates sent out this press release Friday evening, saying, in part, “While Pro Choice South Bend has been quietly organizing against this rezoning since the beginning of the year, the decision to veto would surely not have been made without widespread community support for safe abortion access and patient privacy in South Bend.”
They also stated that they collected over 500 signatures in a petition.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame President, Father John Jenkins issued a statement. He actually serves on the board for the Women’s Care Center and calls the mayor’s decision disappointing.
This isn’t the end of the road. If the common council decides to challenge the veto, they would need a two-thirds majority vote to strike down the mayor’s decision. It’s unclear if or when that vote will happen, but stick with ABC 57 News for latest on that.
Both statements in full are here: