The City of Edgewood discussed quickly and at the last minute came up with an addendum to their agenda for Monday night’s meeting: a discussion of an ordinance banning abortion clinics.
Officials from the 8,500-resident city of Kenton County posted the new agenda 2½ hours before councilors were due to meet for a scheduled 6:30 pm Monday meeting. The original agenda, which was published on Friday lunchtime, did not include such an item on the agenda.
“I asked to put this on the agenda,” Councilor Jeff Schreiver said at the meeting.
The Council did not issue a regulation on Monday. Instead, they talked about it. The move came after a voter asked the council last month to ban abortions.
In May, Lebanon became the first Ohio city to ban abortion. Like Lebanon, Edgewood does not have abortion clinics.
“I think it’s safe to say that everyone on the council is against abortion,” said Schreiver. “But I don’t think the city council should think about it right now.”
Schriever said he believed they had to represent everyone in Edgewood and feared they would be sued and face high legal fees. He added that there are abortion cases in the Supreme Court to help Roe v. Contest Wade, who could “disputes” any law they enact locally.
Edgewood Mayor John Link told The Enquirer he would like to see what happens to these lawsuits before making a local decision. He added that he didn’t think zoning the city would allow an abortion clinic to open.
“Any law we have passed is unenforceable and likely unconstitutional,” said Schreiver. “And since it would be unconstitutional, it violates all of our oath of office.”
Schreiver’s remarks lasted about three minutes. The council then decided unanimously to initiate the discussion.
Mike Thelen, 56, of Edgewood, wasn’t pleased.
Thelen, whose cousin sits on the council, asked the council at its May 17 meeting to ban abortions.
He told the Enquirer he was motivated to reach out to his elected officials after reading how voters in Lubbock, Texas, voted to make their city a “haven for the unborn.”
Planned Parenthood sued to block the ordinance, but a federal judge said it had no jurisdiction to hear the case, according to the Texas Tribune.
Thelen also attended the hour-long public hearing in Lebanon, which ended with the council voting to ban the procedure.
Local abortion regulations are increasing in the US. A group from Texas, Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn, helped Lebanon and 28 other cities, mostly in
Texas, ban abortion within city limits.
“I said, ‘Hey, you could do it, we can do it,'” said Thelen. “We are all Catholic here. … I don’t think we upset a lot of people. “
Thelen spoke to the Texas group and said he wasn’t going to give up.
“(Council members) don’t want to hear it,” Thelen said. “You just want to avoid controversy in my opinion.”
Julia is the Northern Kentucky government reporter for the Report For America program. The Enquirer needs local donors to fund its grant-funded position. If you would like to support Julia’s work, you can donate to her Report For America position on this website or email their editor, Carl Weiser, at [email protected] to find out how you can fund their work.
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