RADNOR TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Commissioners in Radnor Township voted on a controversial preemptive ordinance Monday night that would protect abortion rights for residents even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe V. Wade.
"In Radnor Township, we will not be enforcing what is plainly a violation of a constitutional right to privacy," said Jack Larkin, the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners vice president.
The ordinance would prevent the township's police department from using any of its resources to arrest, charge, or prosecute a person "accused of facilitating providing, or receiving abortion services."
It passed 4-2. It is preemptive, meaning it will not go into effect unless Roe V. Wade is overturned and there is a subsequent ban on abortions on the state or federal level.
"To me is too important to wait to see 'what if.' By the time the 'what if' gets here, it will be too late," said Board President Moira Mulroney. "It is our role to set policy for the township."
Mulroney, Jack Larkin, Maggy Myers, and Lisa Borowski voted in favor. Jake Abel and Annamarie Jones voted against it.
Jones says she has questions about restricting police authority.
Sean Farhy refused to vote, though he describes himself as a pro-choice Democrat.
"It's a political game right now," said Farhy. "It is theater and it's just not anything that we should be doing or legislating."
"Radnor's staking a claim on the side of jurisdictions who protect abortion rights in the face of criminalization," said Rachel Rebouche, the interim dean at the Temple University Beasley School of Law.
Rebouche says this ordinance follows action from states like Connecticut, which passed a new law to protect abortion.
She says the difference here, however, is this is on a local level and will require law enforcement to cooperate.
"The question that this ordinance might raise for some is are law enforcement in Radnor and the council on the same page?" Rebouche said.
Police would not comment on the ordinance.
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said earlier this month he would "not use the power of my office to criminalize a woman's personal healthcare decisions."
The Radnor Township board is expected to vote on the final ordinance at its next meeting on June 13.