With Democrat Harold Webb joining in by phone to break the deadlock, the Wake Commissioners today voted 4-3 to restore coverage for elective abortions to the county’s employee health insurance package, overturning County Manager David Cooke’s decision to drop it. The background on the issue is here.

Webb’s prior absences — he’s recovering from a stroke — led to a 3-3 deadlock when the Commissioners considered Cooke’s action a month ago. Thus, Cooke’s move was neither affirmed nor overruled — until today. Webb voted with his three Democratic colleagues (Lindy Brown, Stan Norwalk and Betty Lou Ward). They out-voted Republicans Joe Bryan, Paul Coble and Tony Gurley.

Gurley was elected chairman in Webb’s absence when Ward went on an “unexcused” bathroom visit and the Republicans took advantage.