City of Austin Defies Legislature in Passage of Budget Amendment Promoting Abortion
by Joe Pojman on September 12, 2019 at 3:40 PM
Written by Amy O'Donnell at Texas Alliance for Life
Austin City Council members voted Tuesday to allocate $150,000, within their total $4.2 billion budget for 2019-2020, toward funding support services for low-income women seeking an abortion. This measure includes “logistical and support services for Austin residents seeking abortion care,” per the City of Austin news release dated Sep. 11, 2019.
Texas Alliance for Life is opposed to this budget amendment. “There are more than 20 wonderful agencies in the greater Austin area that help a woman who has a crisis pregnancy with alternatives to abortion, including adoption,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., Executive Director for Texas Alliance for Life. “We would have preferred the council spend the money to help low-income women utilize these life-affirming agencies.” A link to those resources is available here: PregnancyCentralTexas.com.
This provision comes in the wake of SB 22, the state bill authored by Sen. Donna Campbell (R – New Braunfels). SB 22 bans contracts between abortion providers and affiliates and government entities. In Travis County alone, Planned Parenthood, which operates two local abortion facilities, has lost more than $1 million in contracts with the City of Austin and the Travis County Hospital District.
According to NBC News, the amendment makes an allowance for women who want to travel out of state for an abortion after 20 weeks, the age at which unborn children are protected from abortion in the state of Texas. Through the measure, the travel and other accommodations would be covered.
One dissenter on the council voted against the measure, Council Member Jimmy Flanagan, who voiced opposition due to his views that this should be a county responsibility rather than a city budget measure. All other council members, including the mayor, voiced their support of the initiative.