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January 26, 2023
Lawmakers in Austin, Texas, are attempting to circumnavigate a state law that would go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court turned over Roe v Wade, by introducing a bill that would effectively decriminalize abortion in the city.
The bill, introduced by city councilman Chito Vela, would instruct Austin’s police department to make abortion, seeking abortion, assisting in abortion, and any other abortion-related matters their “lowest priority” and would essentially decriminalize abortion within the city.
The bill is the first in what may be a series of attempts by Democrat cities in red states to work around restrictive abortion laws that currently exist, and more so-called “trigger laws” that would go into effect in several red states across the country if and when the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v Wade.
A leaked draft opinion showed several weeks ago that the Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 decision that made abortion legal at the federal level, and set into motion a slew of protests across the country.
The trigger law in Texas would make any abortion or attempt at abortion, or any procedure in which “an unborn child dies as a result of the offense” a first degree felony.
“This is not an academic conversation. This is a very real conversation where people’s lives could be destroyed by these criminal prosecutions,” Vela told Politico, which first reported on the new bill. “In Texas, you’re an adult at 17. We are looking at the prospect of a 17-year-old girl who has an unplanned pregnancy and is seeking an abortion [being] subjected to first-degree felony charges — up to 99 years in jail — and that’s just absolutely unacceptable.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AUSTONIA.COM