Cincinnati May be Forced to Pay for Employee’s Abortions
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
December 9, 2003
Cincinnati, OH (LifeNews.com) — Cincinnati may be forced to reinstate coverage of abortions for city employees — but not without a fight from the City Council.
City Council had passed an abortion coverage ban in 2001 by a 6-2 vote, in order to keep taxpayer money from funding abortions for city workers.
Arbitrator James M. Mancini, after reviewing a grievance filed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Ohio Council 8, ruled that the Council’s decision violated union contracts and was unenforceable.
A LifeNews.com expose’ found that the national AFSCME labor union is a co-sponsor of the pro-abortion march in Washington that is planned for April 2004.
The basis of Mancini’s ruling was the union’s charge that the city couldn’t make changes to its health care plans without negotiating a new contract. The City claims that since labor contracts do not specify what medical procedures are covered, such exclusions could be made at any time.
In addition, he ruled the city must reimburse any city employees who had an abortion since 2001.
However, the Cincinnati Post reported in December 2002 that an “unknown” bureaucrat had reinstated the coverage illegally – in short, voluntary abortions had been covered – allegedly for as long as the ban had been in place.
Chris Monzel, the City Council member who had introduced the ban, had stated that if a single person was responsible for willfully defying the ordinance banning the coverage, that person should be fired.
"They’re going to have a fight on their hands, that’s for sure," said Sam Malone, who has assumed the role of the leading pro-life voice on the Council after Monzel was not re-elected. "It’s going to be 12 rounds of action-packed boxing."
"We hope that city council will agree with Councilman Malone and will protect pro-life taxpayers from being forced to subsidize abortions," Pat Conroy, President of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati told LifeNews.com
City Solicitor J. Rita McNeil told the Cincinnati Enquirer that she felt the ruling was "reasonably based on contract interpretation," and that she would not appeal unless told so by the council.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati – https://www.affirminglife.org