At its July 6 meeting, Common Council unanimously passed a resolution amending Ithaca’s human right codes to include an Article protecting reproductive rights.
The amendment states that the purpose of the new Article “is to recognize the importance of reproductive healthcare as a matter of health, privacy, and equality and to ensure, to the greatest extent permitted by law, that those rights are upheld for all within the City of Ithaca.”
After the vote, Alderperson Robert Gesualdo Cantelmo of the City’s 5th Ward announced, “effective immediately, Ithaca is now a sanctuary city for abortion.”
The amendment states that no city resources can be used for “detaining persons for performing or aiding in the performance of an abortion within this state, or in procuring an abortion in this state,” if the abortion is performed in accordance with all applicable New York State laws. It also states that no city resources can be used for “cooperating with or providing information to any individual or out-of-state agency or department regarding the provision of a lawful abortion performed in the state.”
While conceding that the New York State Legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul are currently working on similar legislation that would make Ithaca’s law unnecessary, Cantelmo stressed that such State protection could take time to become law while Ithaca’s protections are now in place.