Austin Funds Abortion Assistance

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by Paul Murano  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 16, 2020   

Violates 'the spirit' of Texas Law SB 22

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AUSTIN, Texas (ChurchMilitant.com) - The city of Austin, Texas has unanimously decided to enter into a lucrative contract with Jane's Due Process (JDP) — an organization that assists pregnant minors in obtaining abortions — despite a Texas law barring government entities from funding abortion providers or their affiliates.

In September 2019, the Austin City Council approved a budget amendment that will provide $150,000 to assist abortion-seeking women with related costs, such as transportation, child care and lodging. On June 11, 2020 it passed the contract with JDP, which will also assist girls in obtaining abortions without their parents' consent.

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Sen. Donna Campbell (R)

In 2019, the state of Texas adopted law SB 22, which bans local governments from financially supporting abortion providers or their affiliates. The state law was in reaction to Austin's decision to lease a building to Planned Parenthood for $1 a year. The City of Austin was criticized by Republicans and pro-life advocates for violating SB 22, which bars government entities from funding abortion providers or their affiliates, such as Planned Parenthood.

State senator Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, who authored SB 22, said the city's budget amendment "defiantly violates the spirit of Senate Bill 22, if not an outright violation against the law." Former Austin City Council member Don Zimmerman filed a lawsuit challenging the city's decision.

The Lilith Fund, an advocacy group for killing preborn children in Texas, praised the City Council for its decision. "Our partners will have $150K to support Austinites seeking abortion care! This is one example of what it looks like to invest in community," wrote the Lilith Fund.

John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, has also filed suit against the city of Austin, and after the approval of the contract by the City Council on Thursday, Seago filed a motion for an emergency hearing.

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The pro-life organization Texas Values testified against the contract at the City Council meeting.

"Today, the Austin City Council engaged in political posturing to see how far they can go before violating SB 22," said Mary Elizabeth Castle, policy advisor for Texas Values, whose mission is dedicated to preserving and advancing "a culture of family values in the state of Texas." Castle stated that "the City of Austin should not be spending taxpayer dollars to help end the lives of unborn children."

[The budget amendment] defiantly violates the spirit of Senate Bill 22, if not an outright violation against the law.

Kimberlyn Schwartz, Director of Media & Communication for Texas Right to Life told Church Militant, "Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize abortion, even through indirect logistical means. Local civil authority has been given to cities to promote and protect the life, liberty, and property of its inhabitants. The City of Austin has miserably failed at this goal.  We share the outrage of Austinites over the city council's new contract with an organization that imposes abortions on minor girls," she said.

The diocese of Austin was not silent during this maneuver to support the Culture of Death in Texas.

"I am saddened by the recent news that members of the Austin City Council are working on a proposal to increase financial support for access to abortion in the community," Bp. Joe Vásquez of Austin said on Aug. 21, 2019. "I, along with the Catholic Church, continue to affirm the intrinsic value of human life and the dignity of every person in a way that transforms culture," he stated.

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Bp. Joe Vasquez

In January, the Trump administration's Health and Human Services (HHS) had approved a Texas women's health program that bars funding for health care providers that perform abortions. Texas' Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed the waiver, saying, "The Lone Star State is once again in partnership with the federal government to provide meaningful family planning and health services while fostering a culture of life."

Abbott, displaying his opposition to abortion, added "This collaboration is a symbol of our commitment to championing the lives of Texas women. I am grateful to President Trump and his administration for approving this waiver, and for his commitment to protecting the unborn while providing much-needed health resources to Texas women," he said.

The Catholic Church has always taught that contraception, too, which moralists see as the foundation of the Culture of Death, is harmful to women, destructive to families, and is itself intrinsically evil (CCC 2370).  Further, most hormonal "contraceptive" pills act as abortifacients. 

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