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Woodward maintains stance as Spokane City Council backs limits on using city resources in abortion investigations

July 26, 2022 Updated Tue., July 26, 2022 at 8:50 p.m.

Hundreds of abortion-rights supporters gather on May 14 in Riverfront Park for a “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally that was organized by Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVI)
Hundreds of abortion-rights supporters gather on May 14 in Riverfront Park for a “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally that was organized by Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVI)

Mayor Nadine Woodward’s stance remains unchanged after the Spokane City Council passed a resolution Monday night to prohibit the use of city resources with assisting in investigations or the prosecution of abortion patients or providers.

“I just can’t imagine a scenario where they would be involved,” Woodward said Tuesday, echoing sentiments she offered in the week leading up to Monday’s City Council vote.

City Council members on Monday voted 4-2 on the resolution that also reaffirmed state law protecting abortion rights and calls on federal legislators to codify those rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Woodward maintains that the resolution takes up an issue that is not a city matter.

Councilman Zack Zappone, who was not present for Monday’s final vote but supports the resolution, challenged Woodward to take a stance as other mayors have, including Boise Mayor Lauren McClean, who sponsored a resolution instating limits on how Boise resources are used with abortion-related investigations.

Zappone said Woodward has commented on issues outside of the city’s scope, specifically citing a proclamation from the mayor’s office earlier this year made in solidarity with the Slavic community and in support of a free and democratic Ukraine.

Woodward, however, contested that the two issues are different, as Spokane has accepted war refugees. In June, the Planned Parenthood clinics in Spokane and the surrounding areas, including Spokane Valley, were seeing increases in the number of patients from Idaho, according to Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho.

“Them coming here, nothing changes that,” Woodward said when asked about abortion patients from other states. “Our laws are our Washington state laws, which allow for abortion services. That’s not going to change at all. There’s nothing I can do to change that. We have safe facilities for women here, and that’s not going to change.”

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