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Texas Cities Move to Circumvent State’s Abortion Ban

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Texas State Capitol Building | Image by Shutterstock

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Some city councils in Texas are trying to circumvent the state’s near-total abortion ban after the U.S. Supreme Court voted in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide. 

Last week, the Austin City Council approved a resolution to “decriminalize” abortion in the city. The resolution, called the “Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone (GRACE) Act,” instructs law enforcement agencies to make prosecuting abortion-seekers and providers their lowest priority.


The resolution also mandates that no funds from the City’s budget be spent on investigating or cataloging information related to any “abortion, miscarriage, or other reproductive healthcare act.”

Austin law enforcement agencies are not required to follow the decriminalization resolution. However, a spokesperson for the Austin Police Department and Travis County District Attorney José Garza stated before its passage that they intended to follow its guidelines.

The City of Waco is considering passing its own version of the GRACE Act.

As reported by The Dallas Express, the Denton City Council approved a similar resolution to “de-prioritize” the enforcement of abortion laws and discourage the use of city funds in related investigations in June. 

In San Antonio, the city council is preparing to introduce a resolution to do the same, authored by Councilmember Teri Castillo.

“…[W]e do have an authority as a city council to ask and give the policy recommendation that city funds will not be used to store or catalog any report of an abortion, miscarriage or other reproductive healthcare acts strictly for the purpose of pursuing a criminal investigation,” Castillo told The Guardian.

Castillo said she anticipates that anti-abortion officials in the state will seek to invalidate local resolutions meant to shield people seeking abortions.

Cynthia Alkon, a Texas A&M law professor, said intervention from anti-abortion officials is plausible, noting that there is a distinction between “de-prioritizing abortion criminalization” and “decriminalizing” abortion.

“If the attorney general in Texas is really hellbent on prosecuting abortion-related cases as crimes in counties where the local district attorney is rightfully exercising their discretionary authority and deciding not to, I think they’re kind of left with two choices: they either try and get appointed as attorney pro tem [for the time being] or, they change the laws of what the attorney general can do.”

In an advisory after the Supreme Court issued its official judgment to overturn Roe, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he would dutifully enforce the law. 

“Texas law in a post-Roe world has already been written,” Paxton wrote. “Now that the Supreme Court has finally overturned Roe, I will do everything in my power to protect mothers, families, and unborn children, and to uphold the state laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature.”

Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson has stated, “Prosecutors do not make the law — we follow it. We followed Roe v. Wade when it was the law and we will follow Texas state law now.”

In Dallas County, DA John Creuzot has said he will not prosecute abortion cases.

“I want women across Texas, and especially here in Dallas County, to rest assured that my office will not stand in the way of them seeking the health care they need,” Creuzot said in June. 

Texas’ “trigger law,” which classifies an abortion during any point in pregnancy as a felony punishable by up to life in prison, will go into effect on August 25. The law allows for an exception if a licensed physician determines an abortion is necessary to protect the mother’s safety. It does not make an exception for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.    

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Senior Pastor
Senior Pastor
16 days ago

I don’t see how this is really legal? So why do we have a Supreme Court?

caseyp
caseyp
Reply to  Senior Pastor
10 days ago

The Supreme Court decision gave abortion rights to individual states. If a state decides that it will not allow abortions I don’t see how a city government can override a governor’s state law. Austin and Denton’s resolutions won’t matter. Abortion is no longer allowed anywhere in the state of Texas.

Bobby
Bobby
16 days ago

Austin TX Sucks – BABY MURDERERS

Doug
Doug
Reply to  Bobby
15 days ago

It’s a has-been city full of silly libs and they are all living on the fumes of Austin long ago. It was fun in the early 70s but just lame now.

caseyp
caseyp
Reply to  Bobby
10 days ago

Not only because of that but Austin is the Liberal hub in the state of Texas.

TellTheTruth
TellTheTruth
16 days ago

Nothing will stop their desire to sacrifice infants at the altar of their pagan gods.

Last edited 16 days ago by TellTheTruth
Andre Gorzell
Andre Gorzell
Reply to  TellTheTruth
14 days ago

😹😹😹

Doug
Doug
15 days ago

This is a step along the way to more realization of what the high court has ruled. Sooner or later in the several states their state legislatures will take up the matter and decide whether to allow abortion within their borders.

Jack
Jack
15 days ago

John Creuzot is still not doing his job. What gives him the right to decide what laws he will actively pursue? George Soros?

LensmanRBG
LensmanRBG
15 days ago

Every local law enforcement has to prioritize how to enforce laws within a budget.

LensmanRBG
LensmanRBG
15 days ago

If the state has a new law, the state should fund the enforcement costs.

caseyp
caseyp
Reply to  LensmanRBG
10 days ago

They do unless it’s California. California spends so much on ridiculous waste that they can’t afford to otherwise exist so they have to keep begging the federal government to pay their bills.

Charlotte
Charlotte
15 days ago

Don’t believe in abortion? Don’t have one! Simple as that…

Ranger71
Ranger71
Reply to  Charlotte
15 days ago

Don’t believe in murder? Don’t commit one! Simple as that…

James E. Embry
James E. Embry
Reply to  Charlotte
12 days ago

Anthropologists say that humans figured out what causes babies over 30,000 years ago. If a woman doesn’t want to have a baby, she shouldn’t do that. Simple as that!

caseyp
caseyp
Reply to  Charlotte
10 days ago

Abortion should not be used as a form of birth control.

ronnieB
ronnieB
14 days ago

Let ’em go Creuzot needs to go himself!

Daniel
Daniel
13 days ago

I’ll worry about abortions when we have a shortage of people. What’s next, outlawing masturbation? Texas Taliban!!!

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