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Austin seeks to effectively decriminalize abortion before deciding on a roz

The so-called state. Roeincludes The most severe criminal penalties for abortion in the nation And the language is vague enough that abortion rights advocates believe it will not only exploit abortion providers, but also criminalize people who end their pregnancies with abortion pills. Last month, 26-year-old Liesel Herrera was arrested and charged with murder in Rio Grande, Texas, after allegedly performing a self-abortion, even though abortion is not currently a criminal offense in Texas.

The The challenging law will make executionChallenging or attempting an abortion when “an unborn child dies as a result of a crime” is a first-degree crime punishable by life imprisonment and a fine of up to $ 10,000. It contains exceptions only to save the life of a pregnant person.

The new resolution does not explicitly decriminalize abortion, but rather addresses the police to make it the lowest enforcement priority to avoid conflict with state laws, Vela said. But he underscores tensions between the red state and the blue cities, where a new front opens in the fight against abortion rights as the Supreme Court prepares to rule. Roe In the coming weeks.

The Austin city spokesman said in a statement that “the city is ready to take steps to implement this resolution after it is adopted by the city council.” Council Took a similar event In 2020, which effectively decriminalized marijuana, completed arrests and fines for low-level possession, which The police department followed.

Vela said he has an “ongoing conversation” with Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon about the proposal and hopes the department will comply with the directive. A department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

“The police do not want to be in the middle of this controversy. “Police are now battling personnel in Austin,” Vela said. “I do not think the police want to spend resources on this type of what I call ‘political crime.’

State Attorney General Ken Paxton’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Paxton, a Republican, has been at the forefront of restricting access to abortion in Texas, which has been in the spotlight since the state imposed a six-week abortion ban, enforced in private, in September 2021.

Austin’s proposal, which aims to protect both patients and providers, comes as an extension of the city’s efforts to maintain access to abortion despite state restrictions. The city, for example, provides logistical support for access to abortion, including transportation, housing and child care, from 2019 – Model St. Now looking for repetition.

More cities in Texas might be next. Julie Oliver, CEO of Ground Game Texas, a group pushing for progressive, local voting measures, said they are looking for similar measures in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. If this is not successful, the group plans to address the local voting initiative process.

“House charter cities have tremendous freedom and self-government, and part of that is deciding which laws to prioritize,” Oliver said. “And so, because you have a limited amount of resources in the finite budget, cities are constantly deciding which laws to enforce and which not.”

Local officials advocating for abortion rights in states where access is at risk may also play an important role, said Greer Donley, a professor in reproductive health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

For example, in the town of Radnor, Pennsylvania, where abortion is likely to remain legal as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolfe has promised to veto any Republican ban. The ordinance was recently approved Protecting abortion rights.

“We live in a country where abortion will be legal in the short term, at least Roe Goes down. But that’s because our legislature is completely divided. “We currently have a democratic governor, but our legislature is red, so they can not pass anything,” Donley said. “When you are in a purple state, cities can play an interesting role.”

Austin seeks to effectively decriminalize abortion before deciding on a roz

Source link Austin seeks to effectively decriminalize abortion before deciding on a roz

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