Dallas City Council committee passes resolution to limit impact of Texas abortion law

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(DALLAS) — A Dallas City Council committee passed a resolution Tuesday looking to limit the impact of Texas’s strict abortion law.

The council’s Quality of Life, Arts, and Culture Committee voted to adopt the ordinance, which directs law enforcement to make investigating or prosecuting any allegation related to abortion outcomes their lowest priority.

It also limits city funds from being used to compile reports of abortions that were performed, to “conduct surveillance” to determine whether an abortion has occurred and to relay the information to any governmental agencies.

The resolution will be presented to the full council for a vote Aug. 10.

“I believe that we have to do what we can at every level of government to push back on legislation that takes away our rights, specifically when it comes to women’s rights,” Councilman Adam Bazaldua, who spearheaded the resolution, told ABC News. “It’s our job as local leaders to preserve quality of life for residents and access to health care.”

Bazaldua said it was vital the resolution was passed before Texas’s so-called trigger law goes into effect.

Most abortions were already illegal in the state prior to the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade in June. However, after the decision, a near-total ban went into effect with very limited exceptions.

When the “trigger law” is enforced on Aug. 25, performing an abortion in Texas will become a felony punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and possibly up to life in prison.

Dallas is not the only Texas city that has attempted to affirm its support of abortion rights.

In June, Denton — 40 miles northwest of Dallas — was the first in the state to adopt a resolution directing police to make investigating abortions a low priority and, last month, the Austin City Council approved a resolution similar to the one passed in Dallas known as the Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone or GRACE Act, which effectively decriminalized abortion within city limits.

In addition to the measures also passed in Dallas, the Austin resolution also launched a public information campaign about vasectomies, explaining that the burden of preventing pregnancies “disproportionately falls on women.”

Lastly, the Austin resolution prevents employment and housing discrimination based on whether someone is pregnant or has had an abortion.

“As a father of a 10-year-old daughter, I find it unfathomable to raise a young woman in a time when she has less rights afforded to her than her grandmother did in her lifetime,” Bazaldua said. “And I think it’s important for this issue to be strongly considered when voters go to vote this November.”

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