Philadelphia is no longer officially a "pro-choice city."
By a vote of 13-4 today, City Council rescinded last week's symbolic declaration making Philadelphia a "pro-choice" city that supported "women's reproductive rights and freedom" and defended "the right to choose a legal and safe abortion as a final but critical option for women."
The original resolution passed by a 9-8 vote, surprising sponsor Blondell Reynolds Brown who had not expected the declaration to be controversial. Cardinal Justin Rigali swiftly condemned the resolution, and complaints flooded into some council members' offices.
The resolution rescinding last week's proclamation was sponsored by Councilman Frank Rizzo, who said the entire episode had been an embarrassment.
"I think that we should stay away from issues like this that cause division in our city," Rizzo said.
Switching sides from last week were council members, Jim Kenney, Frank DiCicco, Donna Reed Miller, Daniel Savage and Wilson Goode Jr.
In a speech from the floor today, Kenney stressed that he personally was pro-choice, but had decided upon reflection that it was an inappropriate issue for council to wade into.