The city council of Austin, Texas just voted to give $150,000 in taxpayer funding to a group that helps teenagers get secret abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
The pro-abortion group advertises itself to teenagers who want to get abortions without telling their parents. Texas law requires a parent to consent to an underage girl’s abortion, but the pro-abortion group takes advantage of a judicial bypass exception in the law that is meant for victims of abuse. Instead of informing the parents, the pro-abortion group helps girls request permission from a judge.
This is the group that the Austin City Council chose to receive the funding. According to the city council, the money will be used to help pay for transportation, lodging, day care, food and other things for Austin mothers who plan to abort their unborn babies.
On Twitter, the City of Austin’s official account highlighted the vote with the claim, “Abortion is Healthcare.”
But killing an unborn baby in an abortion is not health care, and the decision puts the lives of young girls and unborn babies at risk. Parental consent laws protect young girls. They can help young victims of sexual abuse who may be forced or coerced into an abortion by their abuser. The laws also help protect vulnerable teens from making a hasty, uninformed decision to abort their unborn babies – something they may later regret. Research shows that these laws help save unborn babies from abortions, and there is strong public support for parental consent.
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In approving the taxpayer funding, the Austin City Council also is skirting a state law that prohibits local governments from forcing taxpayers to fund abortion groups.
Last year, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 22 to ensure that no taxpayer funding directly or indirectly pays for unborn babies’ abortion deaths in Texas. Signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, the law prohibits local governments from funding or contracting with abortion providers and their affiliates.
State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, who wrote the law, criticized the Austin leaders for “defiantly” violating “the spirit of Senate Bill 22, if not an outright violation against the law.”
Two Austin residents are suing to block the pro-abortion measure. According to the report, city resident and Texas Right to Life leader John Seago just filed a motion for an emergency hearing because of the council’s actions.
However, the city leaders claimed that the 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 one of the lawsuits.
Pro-life advocates urged the council to reject the pro-abortion funding proposal, but it did not listen. Testifying before the vote, Mary Elizabeth Castle of Texas Values asked the city leaders to consider how the pro-abortion group manipulates judicial bypass rules to help young girls get secret abortions.
Afterward, she lamented the vote in a statement: “Today, the Austin City Council engaged in political posturing to see how far they can go before violating SB 22. The council approved a questionable contract of up to $150,000 to fund Jane’s Due Process in order to help underage girls obtain dangerous abortions without their parents’ knowledge. The City of Austin should not be spending taxpayer dollars to help end the lives of unborn children.”
But abortion activists praised the city for taking action.
“We may not be able to fund abortion with city money like New York did, but definitely we knew we could help fund the transportation, the accommodations, the child care people needed,” NARAL Pro-Choice Texas director Aimee Arrambide said, Texas Scorecard reports.
The Austin City Council has a history of supporting abortion on demand. 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 contract.