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Council to hold special GRACE Act meeting

Monday, June 27, 2022 by Elizabeth Pagano

Though officially on break until the end of July, Austin City Council is seeking to hold a special called meeting to address the recent action by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. After word of the ruling was leaked earlier this year, Council members began drafting a response in the form of the GRACE Act, which prevents city funds from being used to collect information about or report abortions and directs the city to de-prioritize abortion investigations. Council Member Chito Vela posted to the City Council Message Board on Friday, writing, “As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, the Texas trigger ban will take effect 30 days from today, on July 24. This draconian law will apply sentences of up to 99 years in prison for anyone convicted of performing or assisting in any abortion, with no exception for rape or incest. … Today is a painful day for our country, and I grieve the violations of bodily autonomy which the Texas state government will soon impose on Austin residents. I welcome any of my colleagues who wish to co-sponsor the GRACE Act, and I hope our city can be a source of grace to those who will be targeted for making what should be a private medical decision.” He explained that he and Council Member Vanessa Fuentes have asked to convene a special meeting to pass the act “as soon as possible.”

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