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Attorney General sues Seaford over abortion ordinance

Delaware Public Media

Attorney General Kathy Jennings is following through on plans to sue the City of Seaford over its fetal remains ordinance.

Jennings filed the suit in Chancery Court Tuesday arguing the ordinance is invalid because state law already addresses the issue - and such measures are preempted to the state under the Home Rule Act.

The regulations passed by the city council require the burial or cremation of fetal remains after an abortion. They were approved just after Planned Parenthood opened a clinic in the city.

Jennings called the ordinance anti-choice noting those seeking an abortion would have to comply at their own expense.

The ordinance was expected to go into effect this month, But council members voted in late December to halt enforcement in favor of waiting for lawmakers to address the issue.

The ACLU and Delaware National Organization for Women applauded the lawsuit. In a joint statement, they said they won’t back down from ensuring that access to reproductive health is available to all.

Earlier, Seaford mayor David Genshaw indicated there were outside resources to mount a legal defense of the ordinance - but did not disclose who the donors were.

Rebecca Baer comes Delaware Public Media from The Florida Channel in Tallahassee where she covered state government and produced documentary features for the series, Florida Crossroads.