Austin, Texas Hatching Plan To Bypass Abbott’s Abortion Ban

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Right now, Texas has the harshest abortion laws in the nation. The Supreme Court is expected to overturn Roe, and the law will automatically kick off its “trigger” in 30 days. But Austin has a plan that just might work to get around the state abortion policy.

Professor Specializing in Reproductive Health Care at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, Greer Donley said, according to The POLITICO:

‘We live in a state where abortion is going to remain legal in the short term, at least after Roe goes down. But that’s because our legislature’s totally divided. We currently have a Democratic governor, but our legislature’s red, so they wouldn’t be able to pass anything. When you’re in a purple state, cities might have an interesting role to play.’

Clearly, Austin Council Member Jose “Chito” Vela has been working to provide a plan  It would string abortion or attempted abortions along as the department’s “lowest priority.” Vela said:

‘This is not an academic conversation. This is a very real conversation where people’s lives could be destroyed by these criminal prosecutions In Texas, you’re an adult at 17. We are looking at the prospect of a 17-year-old girl who has an unplanned pregnancy and is seeking an abortion [being] subjected to first-degree felony charges — up to 99 years in jail — and that’s just absolutely unacceptable.’

The Trigger Law makes any attempted or induced abortion a first-degree felony. The punishment could be up to life in prison plus a $10,000 fine. The only exception would be to save the life of the mother. The bottom line as it was described meant:

‘An unborn child dies as a result of the offense.’

Vela indicated that he is speaking with Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon:

‘The police do not want to be in the middle of this controversy. The police right now in Austin are struggling with staffing, I don’t think the police want to dedicate resources to these types of, what I would call, “political crimes.”‘

More cities in Texas could be next. Julie Oliver, Executive Director of Ground Game Texas, a group that pushes for “progressive, local ballot measures,” said they are looking at some “similar measures in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas.” Of course, if that isn’t successful, the group plans to turn to the local ballot initiative process:

‘Home rule charter cities have a tremendous amount of leeway and self-governance, and part of that is deciding which laws you’re going to prioritize. And so, because you have a finite number of resources in a finite budget, cities are constantly deciding which laws they’re going to enforce and which ones they are not.’

City Manager of Austin Spencer Cronk released a statement that read:

‘[I am] prepared to take the steps necessary to faithfully implement this resolution upon passage by City Council.’

Oklahoma Governor Stitt just signed the most draconian law to ban “nearly all abortions after “fertilization,” NBC News tweeted:

Oklahoma Gov. Stitt signs bill that bans nearly all abortions after “fertilization,” making it the most restrictive abortion law in the country.’

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The Texas trigger law’s language is so vague that it could be used to cover abortion providers and even women to end their own pregnancies with abortion pills. Perhaps, birth control would follow.

Vela said he is having “ongoing conversations” with Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon about the proposal and hopes the department will get with the plan.

Law Professor Michele Goodwin has written a new book Policing the Womb, which was published by Cambridge Press.  She addresses the SCOTUS, Anti-Abortion Laws, & the New Jane Crow:

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Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.


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