Austin allocating $150,000 in city funds to support abortion access

Austin allocating $150,000 in city funds to support abortion access
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The city council of Austin, Texas, has passed a budget that allocates $150,000 in public funds to help women access abortion services.

The amendment covering the expense focuses on "logistical and supportive services for abortion access" such as "transportation, childcare, case management and other support services," according to CNN.

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The vote comes shortly after a new Texas law banning financial relationships between state entities and abortion providers went into effect last week.

“Because of these continual barriers that our state puts in front of women for a procedure that is legal, for me this is about the access,” Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza (D) told CNN.

"The symbolic part of it is also important: We support women, we support their choices and we're doing what we can, where we can, so that we can access the full spectrum of health care, including abortion," Garza, who introduced the budget amendment, added.

Garza says the recently passed budget amendment excludes abortion providers and affiliates from accessing the funds as a means to bypass the law.

The budget passed the city council 10-1 Tuesday, with Austin City Councilman Jimmy Flannigan, the only dissenter to both the amendment and the budget, saying he supports abortion rights but instead believes the county health care office should shoulder the responsibility. 

"For me, it really is about how it's the city that the community goes to for everything, and that's just not sustainable," he said, according to CNN.

The money will be given to Austin’s Public Health Department, which will make it available through a competitive bidding process to groups that are already providing the logistical support services.