The Dallas City Council is looking to follow in the footsteps of other Texas cities trying to circumvent the state’s near-total abortion ban.
Pro-abortion Councilmember Adam Bazaldua of District 7 called a special meeting of the council’s Quality of Life committee on Tuesday afternoon to measure support for a resolution in response to Texas’ abortion law.
The full city council could vote on it as early as August 10. The resolution would need unanimous support from the council to be approved.
Bazaldua said the resolution would be a version of the pro-abortion “Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone (GRACE) Act,” passed by the City of Austin to both limit city taxpayer money from going to abortion investigations and de-prioritize investigations into abortions.
Denton has passed a similar resolution, while Waco and San Antonio are considering approving similar measures.
Dallas’ GRACE Act would direct city staff, including the Dallas Police Department, to make investigating and prosecuting abortion accusations “the lowest priority for enforcement.”
It would also instruct City Manager T.C. Broadnax not to use “city resources, including … funds, personnel, or hardware” to create records for a person seeking an abortion, provide information to governmental bodies or agencies about pregnancy outcomes, or conduct surveillance to determine if an abortion occurred, according to a draft of the resolution.
Dallas’ consideration of its version of the GRACE Act meeting comes as implementation of the state’s “trigger law” inches closer after the recent judgment released by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Most abortions are already illegal in Texas, but on August 25, the state’s “trigger law” will take effect. It will make performing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to life in prison and fines up to $100,000.
The “trigger law” makes no exception for rape or incest but does allow for an abortion to be performed if the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.
“We don’t have the purview at the local level to legalize abortion. We do have the authority to limit the resources and the funding that will be allocated to any investigation of this egregious legislation,” Bazaldua told WFAA.
Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion organization, said the resolution is disheartening and dangerous.
“We want to make sure our laws are fully enforced, including our pro-life laws, and so these resolutions are dangerous for that purpose, that they’re signaling something and potentially have the effect of thwarting our pro-life laws from being fully enforced,” said Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate for Texas Right to Life.