Austin leaders work to seal city’s reproductive rights in wake of SCOTUS leaked draft opinion
AUSTIN, Texas - It wasn't long ago that Kristen Herring found herself needing abortion care in a late-term pregnancy.
"My daughter was dying inside me, and it was putting my life at risk. Although it may not have been an immediate risk, I wasn't bleeding out or about to die," she said.
She is one of the many who spoke out before the Austin City Council meeting Thursday shortly before the council passed a series of resolutions aimed at protecting reproductive rights.
"With the leak of the draft U.S. Supreme Court decision, highlighting the risks we face here in Texas, these resolutions take on additional meaning," said Mayor Steve Adler, City of Austin.
The mayor brought attention to item 35, which focused on extending the chance for fertility treatments to city of Austin employees.
"In-vitro fertilization has not been the focus of the discussion but make no mistake about it, it is just one of what I fear will be too many casualties that will probably come from this radical step backwards," said Adler.
"The second item is on putting free period products at city owned facilities," said Vanessa Fuentes, of district two.
The third item directed the city manager to provide a law that prohibits discrimination based on reproductive choices. This was item 88, and not all on the dais were on board with it.
"I’d like the clerk to show me as voting no on number six and item 88," said Mackenzie Kelly, district six.
Why these resolutions and these topics? City leaders feel the repeal of Roe v. Wade could lead to a slippery slope.
"The right to contraception, the right to an abortion, the rights of LGBTQ folks to marry, or love whoever you want all stem from the privacy guarantees contained in Roe v. Wade," said Chito Vela, who is a councilmember for district four and also an attorney.