Pueblo City Council tables anti-abortion ordinance following controversy around potential new abortion clinic

· Dec. 13, 2022, 12:16 pm
Memorial Hall in Pueblo, Colorado, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

By a slim margin, Pueblo City Council voted to table a proposed ordinance that would have essentially banned abortion providers in the city. The 4-3 vote comes just weeks after a first reading narrowly passed.

Council President Heather Graham, who is running for mayor, made the motion to table the controversial proposal.

"What is not our job (as council) is to govern abortion paraphernalia, because that is all this ordinance intends to do," she said. "If you want to stop abortion, I suggest you take it up with the state legislation, the state medical board, or file a federal injunction."

Councilor Regina Maestri brought the ordinance forward for consideration. The move came after a building was purchased by an abortion provider and residents packed city council chambers in protest of the possible clinic.

City councilors Graham, Dennis Flores, Vicente Martinez Ortega, and Sarah Martinez voted to table the proposal. Larry Atencio, Lori Winner and Regina Maestri, voted against it.

With the proposed ordinance tabled, the issue cannot be picked up where the city council left it at a later date. A council member would need to start the process all over again.

The proposal was built around an 1873 federal law that bans mailing abortion-related materials. Pueblo's city attorney recommended against moving forward with the ordinance and state leaders said it violated Colorado law.

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