TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa City Council passed a resolution Thursday to stand up for “reproductive freedom and privacy.”
Councilmembers started their discussion, split about whether they should even vote on the resolution. Councilman Bill Carlson argued that resolutions were more symbolic, and don’t have the same impact as ordinances. He made a motion to send the discussion to committee so that an ordinance could potentially be on the table instead.
That motion failed, but then councilmembers had to decide whether they wanted to vote for Councilwoman Lynn Hurtak’s original resolution's language or a version drafted by the legal department.
Hurtak’s version contained parts that were left out of the legal draft.
Council eventually voted to go with the legal department’s version of the resolution, which had a line, similar to Hurtak’s version that would not approve putting money toward criminalizing abortion.
Councilmembers Gudes and Hurtak voted against the resolution.
Scott Stephens, a retired judge and law professor at Stetson University says although state law holds power over local law, cities are finding loopholes.
“They have looked at well what do we have power over and they have power over the details and day-to-day demonstration of the law,” Stephens said.
He added that, right now, it's hard to predict whether or not these measures will receive pushback from the state level due to abortion laws. There remain still a lot of discussions that need to take place surrounding the overturning of Roe v. Wade and whether or not it's constitutional.
“We don’t know the status of that law whether it's constitutionally valid,” Stephens said.
Councilwoman Hurtak says the next step will be trying to get some sort of ordinance passed to help support the resolution.