Top Line

The city council in Austin, Texas, voted Thursday in favor of a motion opposing the state’s controversial near-complete ban on abortion and approved using the city’s resources to fight it in court, taking a stance against the law. Vala became the first city in the state. .

important facts

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NS oath, Which was Accepted Consented during a council meeting, the Senate “condemns” Texas’ state leadership for implementing Bill 8 (SB8), which bans nearly all surgical abortions after approximately six weeks into pregnancy.

The resolution argues that SB8 “stands in direct defiance” of the constitutional right to privacy and “clearly goes against the sentiments of the general public.”

The City of Austin’s Legal Department has now been directed to “investigate and pursue appropriate legal action” that supports the lawsuit trying to overturn SB8, including lawsuits filed by abortion providers and the US Department of Justice. Includes filing of amicus briefs.

The resolution does not mean that Austin will sue Texas itself or seek to become a plaintiff in any ongoing lawsuits, but rather will return existing lawsuits through a legal brief stating that the city agrees that the law should be scrapped. must be given.

Only one council member voted against the motion, CBS Austin reports, while another did not participate because of objections to the motion not using “a woman’s right to choose” language.

important quotes

“It’s unjust. It’s unequal and frankly it’s cruel. That’s why we have to be here,” said Austin Mayor Prof Tem Natasha Harper-Madison, who serves on the city council. said At a news conference on Wednesday about the resolution. “We have to come here to speak for them and let them know that they are not alone and that together we are going to do whatever we want to do to protect their rights.”

chief critic

Texas Right to Life, the anti-abortion organization that helped draft SB8, said in a statement Wednesday that the resolution was “another example of Austin City Council’s abortion bigotry” and “juvenile and pointless.” [attempt] To sabotage the Texas Heartbeat Act, “the city should instead help” pregnant mothers and preborn children who need their support.

tangent line

Although Austin is so far the only Texas area that has come out against SB8, the city council in Portland, Oregon, has also voted to take action against it. portland city council voted Send a letter to the White House in mid-September to donate $200,000 to reproductive health services in Texas to support those affected by the ban and to support the Justice Department’s plan to fight the law in court. Council walked back a Plan To ban the import of goods and services from Texas, however, due to logistical concerns and fears the ban would penalize everyday Texans who have already been hurt by SB 8.

main background

SB8 has become a source of national controversy in the months since it took effect, as the law’s severe restrictions on abortion are the most extreme to apply in the US since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Unlike other state abortion restrictions that are overruled in court, SB8 remains in place thanks to a provision that empowers private citizens, not the government, to enforce laws by prosecuting anyone. which “aids and abets” abortion. The law, which is expected to prevent about 85% of state abortions, has left Texas providers “struggling to survive”, Reuters reports, while clinics in neighboring states are reportedly filling up Along with Texans who have traveled hundreds of miles to seek the procedure. “Right now only a small number of patients are able to get the care they need in Texas,” said Dr. Ghazaleh Moedi, Texas-based OB-GYN. testified The House Oversight Committee said Thursday that the law’s impact has been “devastating” and “terrible.”

Austin council to vote on resolution supporting abortion access (CBS Austin)

Austin City Council members show commitment to abortion access, discuss resolution (KXAN)

Abortion providers ask Supreme Court to hear Texas abortion case – again (Businesshala)

Biden administration sues Texas over abortion ban (Businesshala)