Letter to the Editor: League of Women Voters of Adams County asks aldermen to vote against sanctuary city ordinance
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, the Quincy City Council will be weighing the possibility of making Quincy a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn.” An ordinance has been placed on the City Council’s agenda, and there is some concern that it might be voted on after a single reading.
That the text of this ordinance has only very recently been made public and is little known or understood by the public is telling. For such a significant topic to be handled in a way that would limit public comment and would insulate the council from such public comment is very troubling. The League of Women Voters of Adams County strenuously objects to any procedure that might be used to ram this ordinance through. It is hoped that the majority of aldermen do not support such a move.
It is also hoped that a majority of the aldermen do not support the proposed ordinance itself. The City Council must be aware that Illinois has strong laws preserving a woman’s right to make medical decisions for herself, her family and her health. The City Council must be aware any action taken by them under the banner of sanctuary city status would be unenforceable under Illinois law and might subject the city to litigation at the taxpayer’s expense.
Moreover, it would leave open the question of who would attempt to enforce the ordinance, how, and how much money would attempts at enforcement cost. As to the thrust of the ordinance, it is intended to limit healthcare services in Quincy, to limit Quincy women’s access to important aspects of health care, and to deter those involved from seeking or providing access by criminalizing violators of the ordinance by taking them to court and levying fines of $1,500 per ”offense” plus court costs.
Does the Quincy City Council really want a reputation for being willing to insert itself into the way in which Quincy’s citizens can act on a decision made between a husband and his wife, a patient and
her doctor, and a woman in her particular circumstance, which the Council can know nothing about?
Does the Quincy City Council want a reputation for making it difficult to recruit physicians who would rather not risk functioning in such an environment?
Does it want a reputation for creating an environment which might make it more difficult for economic development and growth of our population?
Does it want a reputation for blatantly intervening in the safety, health and intimate decision-making of Quincy women and their families?
The LWVAC respectfully asks that the Quincy City Council say “no” to sanctuary city status.
Mary Ann Klein
President, League of Women Voters of Adams County
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