Sidestepping Texas Law, Austin Becomes First U.S. City To Fund Abortion Support Services

  
Via:  gordy327  •  one month ago  •  20 comments

Sidestepping Texas Law, Austin Becomes First U.S. City To Fund Abortion Support Services

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


As Texas continues to enact laws making it harder for women to obtain abortions — and impossible for towns and cities to provide funding for abortion care — a liberal stronghold city is sidestepping these restrictions to make the procedure more accessible.   The city of Austin voted this week to earmark $150,000 in next year’s budget for “logistical and supportive services for abortion access,” CNN reported. The money will be used to help poor women to overcome barriers to abortion care like transportation and lodging costs, child care and other services. City funds won’t actually pay for the procedure itself. The Austin City Council voted 10-1 on Tuesday to approve the budget amendment. It makes the Texas state capital is the first U.S. city to use public funds to provide easier access to abortion care, according to NBC News.

Mayor Steve Adler, who is a voting member on the council, said in a statement that Austin had chosen to take “action to address challenges people are facing as a result of State and Federal laws that make it difficult for families seeking an abortion.”

“This budget amendment will help ensure Austinites can make the best choices for themselves and their families,” Adler said. Just days before the amendment’s passage, a new state law ― Senate Bill 22 ― went into effect that prohibits local and state governments from using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion providers and their affiliates.
Supporters said Austin’s budget amendment does not conflict with SB22 because the city funds will not be made available to abortion providers. Amanda Williams of the Lilith Fund, a Texas-based organization that funds abortions and advocates for reproductive equity, described the amendment as a “really creative way to meet some very serious unmet needs.”

But opponents of the measure have accused the city of pulling a “political stunt” and violating the “spirit of the law.” 
Donna Campbell, the Republican state senator who was the primary author of SB22, told the Texas Tribune that she wasn’t “surprised the City of Austin would manipulate [the law] to use taxpayer dollars to pay for transportation and lodging to those seeking an abortion.”
John Seago of Texas Right To Life, a group that opposes abortions, said the city council ensured it was compliant with SB22, but “the spirit of the law is that we’re not going to spend taxpayer dollars to support the abortion industry,” CNN reported.  

Texas is one of several Republican-led states that have in recent years sought to make abortion almost inaccessible. 
After Texas legislators gutted family planning funding in 2011, dozens of reproductive health clinics closed. Only about 20 clinics offering abortion continue to exist in the state, according to a February study conducted by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, a team that includes researchers from the University of Texas at Austin. 
About 900,000 women of reproductive age in Texas currently live more than 150 miles from the nearest abortion clinic, the study said. 

Pregnant women in Texas need to visit an abortion clinic twice before they’re able to undergo the procedure. Texas law also prohibits private insurance from covering abortion care. 
“Every day the anti-abortion elements in Texas, in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, wake up and think, ‘How can we restrict access to abortion today.’ That makes it our job, every day, to work to expand access to abortion and health care and other basic services related to abortion,” Greg Casar, an Austin City Council member who co-sponsored the budget amendment, told NBC News.

As the network noted, Austin is the latest in a string of progressive cities and states that have sought to create a safer space for women seeking abortions as lawmakers attempt to crack down on the procedure. 
In June, New York became the first city to allocate funds specifically for women to obtain abortions, including those who traveled from out of state for the procedure.
That same month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a sweeping abortion rights bill into law, establishing the procedure as a “fundamental right” for women in the state. And in April, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state’s constitution enshrines a woman’s right to an abortion.

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Gordy327
1  seeder  Gordy327    one month ago

Good news for women. Especially those with limited means.

 
 
 
WallyW
1.1  WallyW  replied to  Gordy327 @1    one month ago

So breaking the law to provide abortions to anyone of any age at any stage of the pregnancy, up to the date of delivery.....is a good thing, and a win for women??

That's insane.  jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.1  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  WallyW @1.1    one month ago
So breaking the law to provide abortions to anyone of any age at any stage of the pregnancy, up to the date of delivery.....is a good thing, and a win for women??

What law did they break? And who is getting an abortion up to delivery? Did you even bother to read the article?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
1.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  WallyW @1.1    one month ago

It looks to me that Austin is providing funds for transportation and lodging so that women can access abortion clinics in Austin. What's illegal about that?

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.3  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.2    one month ago
It looks to me that Austin is providing funds for transportation and lodging so that women can access abortion clinics in Austin. What's illegal about that?

Nothing. Funds aren't actually used for abortions. So there is no violation. Texas, like many other states, have absurd and unreasonable restrictions on abortion.

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.1.4  Tessylo  replied to  WallyW @1.1    one month ago
So breaking the law to provide abortions to anyone of any age at any stage of the pregnancy, up to the date of delivery

You have to let that lie go, not true.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.5  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.4    one month ago
You have to let that lie go, not true. 

Sensationalism is all some have left in arguments against abortion.

 
 
 
Krishna
1.1.6  Krishna  replied to  WallyW @1.1    one month ago
So breaking the law to provide abortions to anyone of any age at any stage of the pregnancy, up to the date of delivery.....is a good thing, and a win for women??

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Kavika
2  Kavika     one month ago

Good news, kudos to Austin.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  Kavika @2    one month ago

Agreed. Now, if only more cities or states had the same provisions.

 
 
 
MUVA
2.2  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @2    one month ago

Yea it’s great news they will be able to terminate hundreds more unborn humans way to go Austin.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.2.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  MUVA @2.2    one month ago
Yea it’s great news they will be able to terminate hundreds more unborn humans way to go Austin.

Making it easier for those living in poverty to access safe and legal abortions instead of forcing them to give birth to a child they are financially unable to care for is great news. When all the religious conservatives have adopted all the unwanted children that are wards of the State and there are religious conservatives lined up to care for those children born to those who can't afford to care for them, then perhaps directing those wanting abortions to them instead would be viable. Until that day, make access safe and affordable to anyone who wants to avail themselves of a legal medical procedure.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.2  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  MUVA @2.2    one month ago
Yea it’s great news they will be able to terminate hundreds more unborn humans way to go Austin.

Yes, it is great news. Women won't be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy if they do not want to or not be unduly burdened, physically or financially. They have a better chance to receive better healthcare options. Great news indeed.

 
 
 
charger 383
3  charger 383    one month ago

This is a good move

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  charger 383 @3    one month ago

Indeed.

 
 
 
Krishna
3.2  Krishna  replied to  charger 383 @3    one month ago

This is a good move

Yet another defeat for the "Big Government Republicans" (those nut case evangelicals and other morons that want an ever increasing role for Big Government to interfere in our lives)

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.1  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  Krishna @3.2    one month ago
Yet another defeat for the "Big Government Republicans"

I don't know if I'd call it an outright defeat. Maybe more of a marginal victory. But every little bit helps.

 
 
 
Tacos!
4  Tacos!    one month ago

Seems like it will also make it harder to argue that Texas' laws restricting abortion are an "undue burden."

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Tacos! @4    one month ago
Seems like it will also make it harder to argue that Texas' laws restricting abortion are an "undue burden."

Only because they are spending $150,000 to overcome those burdens, but that only applies in Austin. The rest of those in the State who live in poverty will still find the Texas laws an "undue burden" because they won't have that kind of money to overcome them. It's really quite sad, the wealthy will still be able to get abortions whenever they want, the laws really only force those who can least afford it to have children they can't afford while Texas republicans are also cutting assistance programs for poor families and children.

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/07/24/what-SNAP-changes-mean-for-texas/

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.2  seeder  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @4    one month ago
Seems like it will also make it harder to argue that Texas' laws restricting abortion are an "undue burden."

The current laws are already burdensome. Unduly so too.

 
 
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