Houston Democrats Want to Use COVID Funds to Make Taxpayers Fund Out of State Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 21, 2021   |   8:59PM   |   Houston. Texas

Taxpayers in the Houston, Texas area could be forced to pay for pregnant mothers to travel out of state to abort their unborn babies if county leaders take action on a new memo.

On Tuesday, the Commissioners of Harris County, which includes Houston, discussed a memo requested by Judge Lina Hidalgo about how the county can support abortions under the new Texas heartbeat law, The Texan reports. The law has protected thousands of babies’ lives by banning most abortions in the state.

To get around the law and state restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortions, the memo recommends using local tax dollars and federal COVID-19 relief funds to help pay for travel, lodging and childcare costs for pregnant mothers traveling out of state for abortions, according to a copy of the memo posted on the ABC 13 website. It also proposes using tax dollars to create a website advertising abortion groups to Texas women.

During the meeting, the two Republican commissioners expressed outrage at the proposal, noting how tax dollars designated to help save lives could be used to destroy them instead.

“I think you need to understand why people would be concerned…using COVID money, money that was meant to be spent to save lives being used to take lives,” Republican Commissioner Tom Ramsey said.

Responding to the criticism, Hidalgo, a Democrat, accused the Republican commissioners of making a big deal out of the memo for their own political gain, according to ABC 13.

ACTION ALERT: Contact the Harris County Judge and Commissioners and tell them you don’t want to be forced to pay for abortions.

“It’s not under consideration, but with campaign season, we can expect mischaracterizations to appear just like this one,” Hidalgo said.

But Commissioner Jack Cagle, a Republican, said Hidalgo is the one playing politics by making it seem as though the commissioners are not considering something that they really are.

“Here we go again, anybody that has the audacity to disagree with your position gets accused … of politics, when this is ribald politics itself,” Cagle said. “We all know the report comes first but the action comes later. I can’t vote against a transmittal, but I would if I could.”

State Rep. Briscoe Cain, a pro-life Republican from Deer Park, also spoke out against the memo at the meeting, noting how the City of Austin is being sued for taking similar actions, according to The Texan.

He said the actions recommended in the memo also could violate the heartbeat law, which prohibits the “aiding and abetting” of abortions on unborn babies with beating hearts.

Jonathan Covey of Texas Values joined Cain in testifying against the memo, telling the commissioners how the heartbeat law has saved as many as 15,000 unborn babies from abortion so far, the report continues.

“If you truly want to help women who are pregnant direct them to the alternatives to abortion care program passed by the State of Texas where they appropriated over $100 million to help women find shelter and to hold onto their babies and keep their babies,” Covey said.

Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate at Texas Right To Life, echoed his call, urging the commissioners to use tax dollars to support women and children, not abortions, Houston Public Media reports.

Pointing to the state Alternatives to Abortion Program, she said, “This is the kind of life-affirming options the county should be promoting, to actually help women and their children and their families.”

Along with passing the heartbeat law this year, Texas state lawmakers also increased support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babiesensuring that they have resources to choose life. This included $100 million for the state Alternatives to Abortion program as well as additional funding for the Healthy Texas Women program.

While some Texas women are traveling to other states to abort their unborn babies, many others who otherwise might have had abortions are choosing life instead. Texas abortion facilities reported a huge drop in abortion numbers during the first 30 days when the pro-life law was in effect, according to research from the University of Texas at Austin. Abortion facilities reported 2,164 abortions in September 2021, down from 4,313 in September 2020, according to the research. That equates to 2,149 babies’ lives.

ACTION ALERT: Contact the Harris County Judge and Commissioners and tell them you don’t want to be forced to pay for abortions.