Ithaca could soon become a sanctuary city for those under investigation for seeking or aiding in an abortion.
The city’s Common Council plans to vote next week on an ordinance that would make it more difficult for other states to investigate abortions in Ithaca.
Under the ordinance, city employees, including law enforcement, would not be able to cooperate with out-of-state investigations into someone who has sought or aided an abortion. The ordinance also blocks the city from using any of its funds or facilities to cooperate in those investigations.
Alderperson Robert Cantelmo said the city has a significant population of out-of-state college students. He said he worries they could face legal challenges from their home states if they seek abortion care in New York.
“They shouldn’t be fearful that a request from a more reactionary state might come in to [the Ithaca Police Department] or whomever and request information that they’re just frankly, not entitled to,” Cantelmo said.
The ordinance also allows people to sue the city if any of its employees do cooperate with out-of-state investigators.
The ordinance passed committee unanimously last week. It’s expected to pass the full council when they meet on July 6.