AUSTIN, Texas — The city council of Austin, Texas has voted to not only to cut and redistribute $150 million from its $423 million police department budget, but to also earmark $250K for assisting mothers with the logistics of obtaining an abortion.
While state lawmakers last year passed a law banning funding of abortion facilities, the City is reportedly attempting to work around the law by making the funds available for abortive mothers seeking transportation and lodging, rather than giving the funds to the abortion facilities themselves.
Senate Bill 22, which went into effect last September, declared, “a governmental entity may not enter into a taxpayer resource transaction with an abortion provider or an affiliate of an abortion provider.”
Soon after the legislation became law, Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza and Council Member Gregorio Casar put forward an amendment to allot $150K for the expenditures of abortive mothers, such as those traveling for an abortion or obtaining childcare while they are away.
According to The Statesman, this year, Council Member Leslie Pool proposed allotting another $100K for “abortion access,” on top of the $150K that was marked last year but never utilized.
She stated that economic hardships due to the coronvirus pandemic necessitated the additional funding, telling the outlet, “We know the need is out there in the community, and we know we have an increase in need.”
The City had already been leveled with two lawsuits for allotting funds for abortion assistance, including from former Council Member Don Zimmerman, whose case is now on appeal.
Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life lamented the funding in a statement, remarking in part, “The City of Austin continues to brashly work around the state law passed in 2019, banning contracts between government entities and abortion providers and their affiliates.”
“This blatant disregard for the intent of the legislature and the governor shows how detached this Council is from the vast majority of our taxpayers who do not want their tax dollars funding abortion in any way, shape, or form.”
He said that City Council missed an opportunity to rather fund crisis pregnancy centers that offer help and hope to abortion-minded mothers, “as there more than a dozen life-affirming agencies located within the Austin City limits.”
But Poole contended that there was no wrongdoing, stating, “I am backed by the Constitution and the Supreme Court. We are not paying for abortion here. We are assisting in services.”
While marking more money to be used for abortion, the Austin City Council voted unanimously to cut and redistribute $150 million from the police department budget. According to The Intercept, the move was “three-tiered,” with $21 million in immediate budget cuts, $80 million in decoupling — or moving services like the 911 call center and Internal Affairs and Special Investigations outside of police control, and $49 million to be put toward a “reimagine safety” fund.
The changes come following calls for police reform and/or defunding in light of the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, as other police departments, such as those in New York City and Portland, are also seeing their budgets slashed and redistributed.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, the Apostle Paul advised, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. From such turn away.”