From left to right: Kersha Deibel, President & CEO Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Councilmember Meeka Owens, Councilmember Mark Jeffreys, Councilmember Jeff Cramerding, Mayor Aftab Pureval, Councilmember Greg Landsman, Interim City Manager John Curp, Councilmember Reggie Harris, Councilmember Scotty Johnson

By Helena Battipaglia

City of Cincinnati 

CINCINNATI – This morning, alongside City leaders and officials with Planned Parenthood, Mayor Aftab Pureval announced City policies to protect women and their families and ensure they have access to the medical care they need.

    This includes:

  1. Repealing a 2001 ordinance restricting the City’s ability to cover elective abortions in its health plan.
  2. Upon repeal of the ordinance, the Administration will change the City’s health plan to include abortion-related services, to the extent allowable under Ohio law.
  3. The Administration will implement a travel reimbursement policy for the cost to travel for healthcare services that aren’t locally available and not covered by the City’s health plan.
  4. The mayor has directed the Administration to provide a report on opportunities to decriminalize abortion in Cincinnati and to prioritize law enforcement resources to protect the health and safety of women and medical care providers.

“Our Supreme Court, Congress, and State legislature have failed us.  Local officials must do whatever we can to protect the women of our communities,” Mayor Pureval said.  “It is not my job to make it easier for the state legislature and governor to drag women back to the 50’s and strip their rights.  It is my job to make that harder.  And with today’s announcements we are fighting back.”

“As an employer, the City believes that healthcare is a decision that should be made by the individual in consultation with a confident and qualified medical provider,” Interim City Manager John Curp said.  “Our women should have equal access to meeting their healthcare needs.”

“This is about choice, this is about autonomy, this is about self-determining one’s life choices,” Councilmember Meeka Owens said. “I’ve known people who have gotten abortions. I personally had to make that choice in my life too, and so I know what the power of choosing means.  We’re going to keep fighting to make sure that we are protecting lives.”

“Hear me when I tell you, this is personal. This is personal not just for me but for your neighbors, your friends, your colleagues, your family members, and maybe even for you. We will never back down, and we will be bold and unapologetic in our demands,” Kersha Deibel, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, said.

A vote will be taken during this Wednesday’s City Council session to repeal the 2001 ordinance.  Upon repeal, Interim City Manager Curp will change the City’s health insurance plan to include all abortion-related health services allowable under Ohio law.

The City will keep Cincinnatians updated as this work continues.

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