Bishop Daniel Thomas of Toledo, Ohio, said it is “outrageous” that Toledo’s City Council has proposed an ordinance that would redirect $100,000 in COVID-19 relief funds to pay for abortion travel costs out of state.

The ordinance, which is on the city’s agenda for Dec. 20, redirects $100,000 of federal COVID relief funding for the provision of “abortion-related logistical needs.” The money would go to support the pro-abortion group The Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund, which has a mission of making abortion easy to access through funding.

The “emergency” measure states that the ordinance “is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and property” and “must be immediately effective in order to provide financial assistance to Toledoans seeking reproductive health care services.”

“It is outrageous to learn that an amendment to ordinance 530-21 has been proposed to Toledo City Council and will be voted on Dec. 20, 2022, which would allocate $100,000 from COVID relief funds to a group whose sole purpose is to pay for travel and other expenses to procure abortions,” Thomas said in a Dec. 14 statement. 

“Using funds allocated for COVID recovery to enable the taking of innocent lives and the harming of mothers and their children is both unjust and immoral,” he said.

“Since abortion is not ‘health care,’ it is counterintuitive that recovery funds would support the killing of the most vulnerable members of our society. As St. John Paul II writes, ‘“Causing death” can never be considered a form of medical treatment … it runs completely counter to the health care profession, which is meant to be an impassioned and unflinching affirmation of life,’” the bishop said.

Thomas said the Church “stands ready” to support women in need and specifically named the U.S. bishops’ pro-life initiative Walking With Moms in Need, which helps women with free support through pro-life pregnancy centers. 

“It is our responsibility as faithful servants of God to spearhead legislation to make it easier for mothers and fathers to flourish economically so they can provide a loving and thriving home for their families,” he said.

The bishop urged all people of goodwill to join him in opposing the ordinance by making their voices heard to the city council. 

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The three city council members who sponsored the ordinance — Nick Komives, Theresa Gadus, and Michele Grim — are all Democrats, according to Ballotpedia. The council has 12 members.

Abortion in Ohio is legal up to 20 weeks, according to Ohio Right to Life. An Ohio law banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected took effect in June. However, the law was blocked by a Cincinnati judge.