Austin City Council announces legal fight against ‘Heartbeat Law’ at local level

In an item to be voted on Thursday, Austin City Council member Paige Ellis is expressing disdain for the Texas Heartbeat Law.

"This item reaffirms the City of Austin's longstanding commitment to abortion access, and allocates staff resources to the City's law department to investigate and pursue appropriate legal support and efforts to challenge this law," said Ellis.

The heartbeat law took effect September 1, banning abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected. This is typically at the six-week mark.

"Our state leaders are making decisions about our bodies without even basic knowledge about how pregnancy works," said Ellis.

"I’m pretty damn pissed that we have to be here in the first place. We are here because the people leading our state have given up on governing all Texans," said Natasha Harper-Madison, mayor-pro-tem.

If passed, Ellis' resolution will allocate legal support and challenges to sb-8, and this includes providing information to Austin residents seeking abortion care.

"What they would probably do is tell her to go out of state or help her go to another state," said Ellis.

"This isn’t surprising though, coming from Austin City Council, they have a long record of pro-abortion extremism and using taxpayer dollars to support abortion in any way possible," said Kimberlyn Schwartz, spokesperson for Texas Right to Life.

The group said they saw this coming.

"The Austin City Council should have learned by now after its long record of pro-abortion advocacy that has landed the City in multiple lawsuits," said Schwartz.

Texas Right to Life said despite the law facing legal challenges on both the state and federal level, they feel they will come out on top.

"It’s never a question of either-or, in terms of helping the pregnant mother or helping the child, no it’s always both," said Schwartz.

Mayor Steve Adler is a co-sponsor on this item, which will be taken up and voted on at Thursday’s council meeting.

There are lawsuits at both the state and U.S. Supreme Court levels unfolding with some abortion providers.


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