Lawsuit Aims to Stop Austin From Paying Women to Kill Their Babies in Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 12, 2019   |   2:11PM   |   Austin, TX

An Austin, Texas resident filed a lawsuit against the city council this week after it budgeted $150,000 in tax money to help abort unborn babies.

Don Zimmerman, a former city council member, said the budget measure violates state laws, and the courts should block it, The Hayride reports.

On Tuesday, the Austin City Council voted 10-1 in favor of the abortion funds, according to The Huffington Post. The vote skirts a new state law by giving pro-abortion groups money to provide transportation, child care, lodging and other services to women seeking abortions. The law prohibits local governments from giving taxpayer funding to abortion providers.

Austin is believed to be the first city to fund abortions indirectly through its new budget.

Zimmerman’s lawsuit argues that the funding violates the new law and a decades-old Texas statute that prohibits anyone from “furnish[ing] the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended.”

“It has long been established that women seeking to abort their pregnancies have no constitutional right to taxpayer assistance, and that the withholding of taxpayer subsidies does not constitute an ‘undue burden,’” the lawsuit states.

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Here’s more from the report:

According to a copy of the lawsuit, provided to The Hayride by Zimmerman, the named defendants are the city of Austin, Mayor Steve Adler and abortion-enabling organizations the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, the Bridge Collective, and Fund Texas Choice.

Zimmerman said he is suing Adler for the city’s ultra vires (legal term for beyond one’s power or authority) action by providing taxpayer money to abortion-assistance organizations, in violation of the recently enacted Senate Bill 22, as well as other statutes.

The pro-abortion city leaders claimed that their budget measure is not “covered by the prohibitions in Senate Bill 22, because they do not fall within the statutory definition of ‘abortion provider’ or ‘affiliate,’” according to the lawsuit.

Earlier this year, the Texas legislature passed the law to ensure that no taxpayer funding directly or indirectly pays for unborn babies’ abortion deaths in Texas. Signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, the law prohibits local governments from funding or contracting with abortion providers and their affiliates.

State Sen. Donna Campbell, who sponsored the pro-life law, previously said the city council’s plan definitely violates the “spirit” of the law.

She told the Texas Tribune that she wasn’t “surprised the City of Austin would manipulate [the law] to use taxpayer dollars to pay for transportation and lodging to those seeking an abortion.”

If the measure goes into effect, Austin taxpayers likely will help fund late-term abortions on viable unborn babies. According to KADN, if an Austin woman wants a late-term abortion, which is illegal in Texas, the money could help her travel to another state where they are legal.

Texas Right to Life said the council members crafted the policy just to thumb their noses at pro-lifers who are working to protect unborn babies from abortion.

“This grotesque news is another example of the abortion industry exploiting taxpayers to profit off vulnerable women and kill preborn children,” the pro-life group said in a statement.

The Austin City Council has a history of supporting abortion. In 2018, it approved a “sweetheart deal” for Planned Parenthood by leasing a property to it for just $1 a year for the next 20 years, according to Texas Right to Life.

ACTION: Contact the Austin City Council to complain about the decision.