By Dave Andrusko
Last week we reposted a terrific story by Katie Franklin which explained how the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, had vetoed a rezoning bill that would allow the Women’s Care Center, a pro-life pregnancy center, to move across the street from a proposed abortion facility.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s veto came just a few days after City Council approved the rezoning plans, 5-4. On April 10, Women’s Care Center rallied about 200 supporters to join them at a City Council meeting.
Tonight at 7 Eastern Time, the South Bend City Council will vote on Buttigieg’s veto. In a statement, he said his “main concern has never been about whether the Women’s Care Center is well-intended or peaceful” but rather about “whether this is the best use at the location [on Lincoln Way West] justifying a zoning change over the objection of neighbors.”
This was different from Buttigieg said earlier. “I don’t think it would be responsible to situate two groups literally right next to each other in a neighborhood that have diametrically opposed views on the most divisive social issue of our time.” But as Franklin wrote
Rev. John I. Jenkins, University of Notre Dame President and board member for Women’s Care, doesn’t see his organization’s work as divisive.
“The Women’s Care Center, on whose board I serve, gives women in crisis the support they need for themselves and their babies before and after birth,” he said in a statement responding to the mayor’s decision. “It doesn’t engage in political advocacy, but provides compassionate, non-judgmental loving care to women most in need.”
Contrary to the compassionate work described by Father Jenkins, Buttigieg argued that violence and harassment increase when pregnancy centers are located next to abortion facilities.
Ann Manion, President of Women’s Care Center, offered a different perspective.
“Twenty-two times our centers have been located near abortion clinics to provide love and support and offer a choice for life,” she said in a statement. “There has never been an instance of violence.”
NRL News Today will update you tomorrow on the council’s action.