Last year, the 86th Legislature passed a bill prohibiting government entities from funding abortion providers.
Just before that, the City of Austin entered a leasing agreement with Planned Parenthood to rent facility space to the women’s health center that provides abortive services for a rate of $1 per year — an agreement which has since been challenged in court by former Austin City Councilman, Don Zimmerman.
That case is still ongoing.
In its 2020 budget, the city included $150,000 for logistical services with the organization, Jane’s Due Process which assists women in obtaining abortions. This includes providing transportation to and from the facilities.
But in their budget approved this week for FY2021, the city increased that funding to $250,000. That money, however, was not spent as the program was set up.
And so this additional $100,000 is, according to the council, a one-time increase.
About the budget as a whole, Mayor Steve Adler said, “This is the most ‘forward-looking’ budget in memory. This is the budget where we launch our future as a fairer, more just, more equitable, more universally accessible city. This budget is full of opportunity and hope. For me, this is the ‘Justice Budget.’”
Texas Right to Life criticized the city, saying, “In setting the budget for 2021, Austin has reaffirmed their commitment to killing preborn children with taxpayer dollars by increasing the funding allotted for ‘abortion access’ to $250,000.”
According to the latest data by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 52,669 abortions occurred in 2017.
This year, financial records showed Planned Parenthood took in more taxpayer dollars than ever to the tune of $617 million due especially to health program reimbursements, such as through Medicaid.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.