Atlanta City Councilmember Liliana Bakhtiari sponsored the resolution that no city funds be used to investigate abortion care. (City of Atlanta)

The Atlanta City Council wants no city funds to be used to investigate abortion care and for police to make investigations of abortion care the lowest priority, according to a resolution approved June 21.

Councilmember Liliana Bakhtiari sponsored the resolution in response to the Supreme Court’s expected decision to overturn Roe v. Wade before its session ends this month. The resolution expresses the council’s stance on abortion rights but is non-binding.

The resolution was not discussed during the council meeting, but passed as part of the consent agenda.

During a June 14 Community Development and Human Services committee meeting, Bakhtiari said the reason for the resolution is “quite simple.”

“We need to do all that we can do to protect people’s right to choose,” Bakhtiari said. 

Mayor Andre Dickens at a public safety press conference on June 21 backed the resolution and said he didn’t believe the Atlanta Police Department should be involved in women’s health concerns. 

The resolution says the Atlanta City Council “supports a woman’s right to choose and opposes the use of any city funds to record and/or investigate reports of abortion care.” It also requests the police department “to place reports of abortion related care at the lowest possible priority” except when it relates to criminal cases such as rape.

In 2019, the Georgia General Assembly approved the so-called “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortions once a physician could hear fetal cardiac activity. Fetal cardiac activity can be heard with an ultrasound after about six weeks of pregnancy, barely enough time for a person to learn they are pregnant. 

Abortion rights activists sued over the bill where the case is held up in a federal district court of appeals as judges await the Supreme Court’s decision. If the Supreme Court overturns abortion rights as indicated in a leaked draft opinion last month, Georgia’s anti-abortion law could go into effect. 

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.