City Council Meeting - FINAL

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Meeting Date: 03/07/2023  
From: Sterling Solomon, City Attorney

As Directed by the City Council: Consideration and Adoption of Resolution No. 2023-12:  A resolution declaring City Council's opposition to the United States Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization; opposing Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 36-2321 through 2326, and other provisions of Arizona Law Criminalizing Abortion; and supporting the constitutional rights of pregnant persons, including their access to reproductive health care and abortions. 
Staff proposes no specific course of action - if City Council so desires:

1) Read Resolution No. 2023-12 by title only
2) City Clerk reads Resolution No. 2023-12 by title only (if approved above)
3) Adopt Resolution No. 2023-12
Executive Summary:
In August 2022, a citizen petition was received by City Council requesting the Flagstaff City Council “discuss protecting Flagstaff residents from possible arrest and prosecution for providing, accessing or assisting with abortion services.” Not long after, then-Councilmember Aslan made a Future Agenda Item Request (FAIR) for Council to discuss a potential resolution on the matter of abortion in light of the recent US Supreme Court case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (which overturned Roe v. Wade), and also in light of state legislation related to abortion. A sufficient number of Councilmembers supported the FAIR.
In Arizona, the cities of Tucson and Phoenix adopted resolutions expressing opposition to Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, and commenting on state legislation related to abortion. Flagstaff City Council had, and still has that same option, and also the option not to make a statement by resolution.

At the Council meeting on February 21, 2023 the Council discussed these options. The City Council was reminded that the State of Arizona regulates the health industry, not cities, and that if City Council desired a resolution for consideration, the recommendation would be for a resolution very similar to what Tucson and Phoenix adopted, i.e., it would not create a law but would make a statement only.The City Council was also told at the February 21, 2023 meeting that if City Council gave direction to bring a potential resolution to City Council for consideration and possible adoption, that could occur at the March 7 meeting; or, that City Council could give no direction. A majority of City Council gave direction for the option to consider a resolution similar to Tucson and Phoenix resolutions.
At Council's direction, the resolution before you is legally sound for City Council's consideration and possible adoption.
Financial Impact:
Policy Impact:
Adoption of a resolution would be a City Council policy statement.
Connection to PBB Priorities/Objectives, Carbon Neutrality Plan & Regional Plan:
Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:
Options and Alternatives:
Council may adopt the resolution.
Council may not adopt the resolution.
Res. 2023-12


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