The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice supports Attorney General Kathy Jennings’ lawsuit against the city of Seaford to overturn its ordinance requiring pregnant women and medical facilities to bear responsibility for interring or cremating pathological waste from miscarriages or abortion. Jennings filed suit in Delaware Chancery Court on Jan. 11 seeking to have the ordinance declared illegal and unconstitutional.
The right to abortion access has been guaranteed by Delaware state law since 2017, and SDARJ agrees with Attorney General Jennings that no Delaware city has the right to unilaterally chip away at this right by passing municipal ordinances. Seaford’s ordinance is part of a national strategy to whittle away abortion rights at the local level by placing burdens on access.
Although the Seaford Council imposed a “stay” on implementing the ordinance until the General Assembly takes the issue up, the “stay” does not remove the illegal law. SDARJ believes this ordinance places an undue burden on Seaford and Sussex women’s legal and constitutional right to abortion and will impact black women, women of color, and poor women disproportionately.
Application of this ordinance to miscarriage does not insulate it from legal scrutiny; it only widens the harm that it causes. SDARJ is part of a coalition including ACLU Delaware, Delaware NOW, and Women’s March Sussex Delaware that has opposed this ordinance in person and in writing at Seaford Council meetings.
SDARJ supports the Attorney General’s lawsuit and will continue its advocacy with its partner organizations to protect abortion access.
Charlotte King, Chair
Clara Licata, Legislative/Advocacy Committee Co-chair
Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice