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Austin City Council weighs item approving legal resources to challenge Texas abortion law

The City Council approved the item on consent at Thursday's council meeting.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council on Thursday approved a resolution on consent that would direct City Manager Spencer Cronk to provide legal resources to support the ongoing lawsuits challenging Texas's controversial abortion law, Senate Bill 8.

Item 111 on Thursday's agenda states:

"Approve a resolution renewing the City of Austin’s consistent support for the reproductive rights of individuals who are capable of becoming pregnant, encouraging the business community to join the City in opposing the implementation of SB 8, and directing the City Manager to provide legal resources to support the current lawsuits that challenge SB 8."

It was co-sponsored by Councilmembers Paige Ellis, Leslie Pool and Gregorio Casar, Mayor Steve Adler and Mayor Pro-Tem Natasha Harper-Madison.

Ellis led a press conference on Wednesday morning along with other elected officials in response to the implementation of SB8, which is the most restrictive abortion law in the country.

“Abortion access is under severe attack in our state yet again, and many of us feel frustrated and furious, but it is our responsibility to stand up and fight with all we’ve got,” said Ellis, lead sponsor of the Abortion Access Resolution. “We cannot let this aggressive invasion into such a private and personal matter go unchecked.”

She was joined by Mayor Adler, Travis County Judge Andy Brown, Harper-Madison, Casar and advocates from Planned Parenthood, Avow Texas, Women's March and the Austin Justice Coalition.

“I’m proud to support this resolution in defense of the right to abortion care,” said Mayor Adler. “I represent nearly one million Austinites, the majority of whom oppose the state’s extreme abortion ban. It offers no solutions, no reasonable exceptions, no medical precautions, and certainly no compassion.”

The law, which is already in effect, allows for private citizens to sue health care providers who perform abortions after around six weeks gestation. The law currently does not provide any exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

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