The city of sisterly love

Check it out: Philadelphia is officially a pro-choice city.

[Yesterday the City] Council proclaimed Philadelphia a “Pro-Choice City,” which supports “women’s reproductive rights and freedom” and defends “the right to choose a legal and safe abortion as a final but critical option for women.”

The resolution won’t do anything concrete–it’s really just a declaration–but it still garnered a lot of controversy.

…it was strongly opposed by eight of 17 Council members and generated an immediate and sharply worded rebuke from Cardinal Justin Rigali, who urged “people of good will” to reject the “divisive and erroneous label that Philadelphia City Council has forced upon the citizens of Philadelphia.”

The resolution was sponsored by Blondell Reynolds Brown, who refused to withdraw the resolution despite pressure from colleagues.
“At the end of the day, we decide what we want the city to look like and be about…We as Council members will speak to our hearts and our minds and vote accordingly…When you make it clear that the city cares about pro-choice as a reproductive issue, it sends a powerful message,” she said. Indeed.

Join the Conversation

  • Kimmy

    *hee*hee*hee* I wish more places would do something like this. I know it doesn’t do anything concrete, but what a signal to send!

  • Anonymous

    Oh boy. That’s definitely going to piss some people off.

  • manda

    The only message I’m seeing is that a couple of politicians – who probably just wanted to get their names in the media – wasted time and money to speak for an entire city on a controversial issue.
    Imagine 9 out of 17 members of some council declaring that the area as supporting the war in Iraq and/or Bush. Would it be just as wonderful or powerful a message if the city had been declared “pro-life” or “anti-gay marriage”? I really just don’t like the idea of 9 people deciding the opinions of an entire city based on what is in their hearts and minds instead of leaving it up to voters to speak for themselves.

  • Peepers

    Aw, heck, Manda, city councils do this kind of stuff all of the time, except ususally it’s to declare their cities passionately in favor of toffee or opposed to childhood obesity or some such inane nonsense. At least this took stones. I appreciate it.

  • jane

    When will feminists quit equating courage with having male organs?
    Thank you Philly!!!

  • st3ph

    Bravo Philadelphia City Council!

  • Kyra

    Cardinal Justin Rigali, who urged “people of good will” to reject the “divisive and erroneous label that Philadelphia City Council has forced upon the citizens of Philadelphia.”
    I wonder if he’d call it “disruptive,” “erroneous,” and “forced upon the citizens of Philidelphia” if the city had passed a pro-life resolution?
    (In which case the “forced” comment would be truly ironic.)

  • EG

    Well, hurray for Phillie! Manda, given that Pennsylvania’s state constitution includes a provision “extend[ing] to the unborn the equal protection of the laws” and mandates a “public policy…encouraging childbirth over abortion,” I think it’s about time the pro-choicers in PA got some representation, and I have no compunction about this vote at all. Nice to see City Council members taking a stand on something worthwhile.

  • manda

    My problem is not with what they said, but rather that they said anything at all. In general, I’m annoyed when city councils and other governing organizations feel the need to waste time making declarations like this (and similar “yay coffee” and “boo Don Imus”) because 1) it’s pointless and 2) they should have more pressing issues to deal with. No matter how well meaning, I think it’s a bad idea for a small group of elected people to make mass declarations on controversial issues* – even when I agree with what they say.
    And I also agree with Kyra that Rigali would not be singing the same tune if they vote had failed (which it almost did) or if the council members had declared Philadelphia a “pro-life” city. Since has picked this up, I wouldn’t be surprised if some other city council did just that very soon.
    * especially when those people were not likely elected because of their stance on such issues

  • dmrnj85

    What’s to be upset about? The city did not say it was “pro-abortion.” It said it was “pro-choice,” which to me, boils down to the fact that reproductive rights of women there are respected. The whole idea behind choice is that those who won’t, shouldn’t, but those who would, could.
    While I’m not for governments taking official stands on “sides” until the courts have decided one or the other, the Philadelphia courts apparently respect Roe v. Wade, so that could be their “official stance” decided by a governing body.
    This hearkens to thoughts of cities declaring less scandalous affiliations, in my mind, like “freedom of religion.” We take for granted we have it, but there are those who would rather our country officially recognize itself as a Christian nation. It is by all means related to a controversial topic, but it’s not scandalous to us, because it’s not forcing one viewpoint or another. It boils down to the american “freedom” to believe and take a stand for whatever you will.
    I think this is just a sore spot because, again, many people associate pro-choice with pro-abortion, when it’s really so much more.

  • dmrnj85

    Also, to the commenter who said that voters should leave it up to themselves –
    I’m sorry, but don’t we live in the 21st century? Can a woman not go and legally get an abortion in Philadelphia? Does the city not support her ability to choose? I would say that our governing bodies decided this for us almost 35 years ago. I don’t really think it’s necessary to revisit like South Dakota did.

  • Jen

    My home town rocks sometimes. Go Philly!

  • Torie

    YAY! I’m proud of my hometown. PA, as some of you may or may not know, has been notorious in the past for requiring all women seeking abortions to watch a video that graphically depicts abortion–demonstrating it as the wrong choice. I see this as a definite step in the right direction. Go Philly.

  • Sayna

    RE: “When will feminists quit equating courage with having male organs?”
    Well, actually, most of the terms we use could just as easily be considered euphemisms for ovaries.
    But it’s still assumed that you’re talking about testicles unless you clarify.
    ie: “I have balls, they’re just on the inside!”

  • Ursula Flavioni

    Strange Egyptian architecture.
    The matter is that by the present moment there is a ceramics large quantity on the different periods of Egypt, accordingly, by comparative studying found before ceramics (on clay of which it is made, under the form) it is possible to do conclusions.
    Besides, this material help to date analyses (depending on what is a find, for different monuments different methods). There are various technicians as this or that thing was made. If it is unusual architecture, if it is any raised works or figures which we now find – we already know by what period they concern, because there is a developed system on this or that question. It is possible so to date, if the material is plentiful.
    Now the Egyptian archeology – the aristocrat among other archaeological researches. Because in the Egyptian archeology there are people rich, people who have a wide experience under the authority of excavation, and, naturally, they that to dig out, find something (and Egypt allows to hope that you can make it), they use the advanced methods. Now the geophysics is very often applied. Here we too all time use various geophysical technologies. If in brief and roughly to explain: you have a computer, experts, professionals go with the computer, and you see approximately on 2 metres underground that you can find.