Austin, TX

City Council Votes to Decriminalize Abortion in Austin, Texas

Tom Handy
Screenshot from Twitter

Austin Texas City Council wants to restore rights to women that were taken by the U.S. Supreme Court last month when they overturned Roe vs. Wade. The action does not overturn the Supreme Court’s action but helps protect Austin citizens.

At a news conference, Council Member José “Chito” Vela spoke about the Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone Act also known as the GRACE Act.

Included in the GRACE Act are four resolutions that direct the City on how to investigate reports of abortion.

Item 1 means no one can be fired, evicted, denied housing or a job because of abortion.

Item 2 requires that no City funds can be used to report evidence to another government agency collecting information on people concerning abortion.

Item 3 directs the city manager to provide education on long-term birth control such as vasectomies and other forms of birth control.

Item 4 directs the city manager to provide City employees with travel benefits and accommodation expenses for access to an abortion.

Part of the resolution said:

“the City of Austin honors the rights of pregnant people to bodily autonomy and control over their private medical decisions.”

District 8 Council Member Paige Ellis said:

"This council is committed to and will continue to support our constituents who overwhelmingly agree that people should have access to abortion. To the folks who don't like abortion: don't get one. That's what choice is for."

This past May, a spokesperson for the City Council José Vela said to The Hill:

“[The GRACE Act] does not directly halt enforcement, but it severely limits the ability of the city or any staff to collect or provide evidence for prosecutions. It also preemptively bans surveillance of anyone or anything related to suspected abortions outside of some limited exceptions, like coercion or force.”

Council member Vanessa Fuentes said the resolution was approved on Thursday as part of a national movement as other representatives are passing similar legislation.

Fuentes said:

“While our federal government continues to stay idle. it’s up to us to put in the work and do everything possible to protect the communities that we care and represent.”

This is a list of some companies in Texas that provide support for pregnant women who want an abortion.

Does this act help people who want an abortion?

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