FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - New Haven council members have passed a resolution that describes when human life begins and ends. Though it does not specifically mention the word "abortion," the move is a first for a municipal government in Indiana.
Language in the documents reads "the New Haven Council believes the protection of all human life is important to the people of New Haven." It goes on to state "the New Haven City Council believes every human life is unique and precious to God and humankind."
The resolution was passed Tuesday night by a council body comprised entirely of Republicans. The announcement was made not by the city, but in a news release written by Cathie Humbarger, the Executive Director of Allen County Right to Life. Humbarger quoted herself in the release.
"Mayor Terry McDonald has honorably served New Haven for decades," she wrote. "This resolution shows a deep care for those children, but also desires that needs be met for moms and dads as well."
The resolution is not an ordinance nor does it enforce a policy. The language does suggest that the city encourage assisting pregnant women find healthcare and sources for other needs, and support an adoption plan for couples who seek to adopt.
The document also "encourages our state and federal government to use every legal means to protect and fight for every human life, including the lives of unborn boys and girls."
The move is a first for a municipality in Indiana. However state governments are increasingly passing laws meant to challenge the Supreme Court ruling made in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that legalized abortion in the United States. According to Pew Research, 2019 saw the largest number of new abortion laws since 1973. Many of those laws have been struck down by courts or challenged by abortion rights groups.
Indiana was at the center of one such controversy. In 2016, then-governor Mike Pence signed a bill that would have banned abortions based on a fetus' sex, race or disability. The 7th District Court of Appeals blocked those rules, but allowed a separate requirement of burial or cremation of fetal remains.