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Austin City Council members seek decriminalization of abortion citywide in response to Texas ‘trigger law’

Austin City Council members are seeking to pass legislation that would decriminalize abortion citywide after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a decision that puts the Texas “trigger law” into effect shortly.

Council members want new legislation that would specifically target a state law that would ban abortions performed from the moment of fertilization, according to FOX 7.

Austin City Council members Vanessa Fuentes and José “Chito” Vela are both asking for a special meeting board to be convinced in order to pass the GRACE Act, which stands for “Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone.”

Vela wrote in the council’s message board on Friday following the Supreme Court ruling, asking for support in passing the act.


“Today is a painful day for our country, and I grieve the violations of bodily autonomy which the Texas state government will soon impose on Austin residents,” Vela wrote, according to the report. “I welcome any of my colleagues who wish to co-sponsor the GRACE Act, and I hope our city can be a source of grace to those who will be targeted for making what should be a private medical decision.”

The act would place abortion investigations as the lowest priority for the Austin Police Department, and also restrict funding that would typically go towards investigations into illegal abortions and prosecutions, according to the report.

Vela said that ideally, police wouldn’t take more action on an abortion investigation beyond taking a report.

“We understand that we’re bound by state laws. We have to take the report. We have to accept the report from the citizen or whoever. However, we don’t want to do much more than take the report, ideally,” Vela told FOX 7.


Austin City Council members Vanessa Fuentes and José "Chito" Vela.

The Austin City Council similarly voted to approve a resolution that would “explore every option” allowing the city to raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15 style weapon or other semi-automatic weapons on June 16.

Mackenzie Kelly, District 6 council member, said during the June 16 that attempts to limit the sale of firearms would violate state law, adding that people could simply travel elsewhere in the state to buy a firearm.

“I believe that any attempt by Austin to restrict, regulate, or hamper the sales of firearms does violate state preemption laws. And that violation of the preemption law risks a lawsuit from the attorney general, which I think is a needless waste of taxpayer resources,” Kelly said.

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