AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Former Austin City Council member Don Zimmerman has filed a lawsuit against the city. He's hoping to stop $150,000 from being used for abortion access.
Back in August the city announced plans to offer $150,000 from the upcoming budget as grants to organizations that help provide access to abortions such as transportation, counseling and childcare.
“The basic idea here is to force tax payer to subsidies abortions. It's not only terrible policy, it's actually illegal,” said Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who served on the council from 2015 to 2017, filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the city.
“We have a solid case because what this is really about is tax payers being forced to subsidize abortion and the court has already ruled the people have no right to force people to pay for the abortions, so we're going to win this case,” said Zimmerman.
This week, the city passed the plan to offer $150,000 from the budget as grants to organizations that help provide access to abortions such as transportation, counseling and childcare.
FOX 7 spoke to city council member Greg Casar or the addition in the budget. “We know that while people have a legal right to abortion care there are so many barriers that the state legislator has put in the way. They make it so your insurance can't pay for it, they make it so you have a 24 hour waiting period, they make you get extra procedures beforehand. This makes cost rack up and rack up."
Council member Casar, who is for this recent addition to the budget, is confident Zimmerman's lawsuit will get thrown out. “I didn't know if I was reading a lawsuit or if I was reading a satire piece out of “The Onion.” The whole thing reads like Zimmerman stepped out of a time machine and didn't realize that abortion, interracial marriage and contraception are now legal,” said Casar.
The city released this statement in response to the recent lawsuit:
"We are disappointed that Mr. Zimmerman chose to sue the mayor and the city in response to city council's clear policy direction that it intended to fund organizations that provide social support services including child care and transportation in an effort to support individuals who are involved in personal health care decisions. This policy direction does not violate state law, and we are prepared to defend both the city and mayor Adler in court."
“People are bantering about waving their flags here or there but I have to say I notice the opposition bragging about giving the middle finger to the state of Texas over SB 22 so my suggestion is they use their index finger to file throw this 8-page petition because they're going to lose,” said Zimmerman in response to Casar and the city’s statement.
Back in August, the city said this line in the budget is a direct response to the recently passed state senate bill 22, which prevents government agencies from directly supporting abortion providers.