South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s veto of a zoning request from a pro-life, non-medical facility stands. In a packed room, which included both pro-life and pro-choice supporters, the city’s Common Council voted 5 to 4, missing the majority needed to override the veto.
The council cited five rezoning criteria they used to allow Women’s Care Center, a pro-life, non-medical facility to open an office next to Whole Women’s Health Alliance, which could soon become an abortion provider in South Bend.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg vetoed the rezone. He later released a letter in which he stated he had received a lot of input from community members and other organizations that felt allowing the Care Center to open in that location would lead to issues. He objected to the proximity to the women’s clinic.
Council members who voted against the mayor’s veto said it was unsubstantiated.
Vice President of the pro-life group Jenny Hunsberger said its board will decide what’s next for the property, which the Care Center owns.
“We have been in this community for thirty four years,” Hunsberger said, “and we will continue to be in this community to continue and serve women and families.”
Director of the women’s clinic Sharon Lau said they are happy with the outcome. Lau said while Whole Women’s Health Alliance is still pursuing a license to be able to practice in the Lincoln Way location, the group hopes to start providing some women’s health services, including STD testing, while they complete the licensing process.