Bakersfield City Council committee takes anti-abortion step

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The topic of abortion drew a big crowd Monday to a Bakersfield City Council committee meeting.

At issue: A resolution in which the city would support alternatives to abortion.

Read the Alternatives to Abortion resolution {>}{>}

The Legislative and Litigation Committee approved the resolution after taking public comment in the full Council chambers. That meeting place was picked to accommodate the unusually large crowd. The committee typically meets in a small room at City Hall North.

The proposed resolution was crafted after City attorney Ginny Gennaro expressed concern over a more powerful anti-abortion ordinance.

An anti-abortion ordinance was submitted in 2012 to the city by Tim Palmquist, administrator of LifeSavers Ministries. The proposed ordinance stated: "It shall be unlawful within the city of Bakersfield for any entity to receive any form of consideration for the purpose of killing any inhabitants of the city."

Gennaro said in July that the ordinance would not be constitutional and could expose the city to legal challenges.

The resolution is essentially a policy statement and has no legal teeth. It was passed on a 2-1 vote by the committee, with Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan opposing, but only because she said she favors passing an enforceable ordinance, instead.

The full seven-member City Council, plus mayor, is slated to take up the proposed resolution in October.