The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

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Jose Chito Vela
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:16 am

The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Jose Chito Vela »

Colleagues,

In light of today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, CM Fuentes and I have requested a special called meeting as soon as possible in order to pass the GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone.

The GRACE Act protects abortion rights from prosecution through the following methods:
1. Prevents the usage of city funding to collect or report evidence related to abortion.
2. Directs the city manager to designate abortion as the lowest possible priority for criminal investigation and enforcement.
3. Limits protections to abortions which are not forced, coerced, or criminally negligent to the health of the pregnant person seeking care, or abortions which are evidence of another crime and are being investigated specifically for that purpose.

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.

For more information, please access the following links.

Full text of the GRACE Act:
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 44841.docx

GRACE Act FAQ:
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 92409.docx

I know that you value your constituent’s rights to bodily autonomy. I look forward to dialogues regarding the GRACE Act in this month's special called meeting.

Saludos,

Chito
Paige Ellis
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Re: The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Paige Ellis »

CMs Vela & Fuentes-

I am proud to cosponsor the Grace Act. I am still formulating the right words to express my dismay. Thank you for your leadership on this item and to our other colleagues who have led on abortion access legislation for Austin.

Paige Ellis
Paige Ellis
Council Member, District 8
Jose Chito Vela
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:16 am

Re: The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Jose Chito Vela »

Thank you to the person who informed me that my links were not working. The links below should be fixed.

GRACE Act full text:
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 105310.pdf

GRACE Act FAQ:
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 105134.pdf
Vanessa Fuentes
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:02 am

Re: The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Vanessa Fuentes »

Protecting abortion rights promotes health, supports individual autonomy, and addresses longstanding racial and economic inequities, which is why today’s SCOTUS ruling will have irreparable short and long-term effects across our entire country.

The dismantling of Roe v. Wade leaves millions without the freedom to access essential healthcare and has opened the door to further state & federal oppression - oppression that already disenfranchised communities will feel the hardest.

Let me be clear - you can not make abortion go away by criminalizing it. All this does is make seeking essential healthcare unsafe by putting people of lower economic means and communities of color at risk. These communities do not have the advantages of middle-class and wealthy people who can travel to access abortion care.

My heart is heavy with the outcome of today, but I know myself and my colleagues will do everything in our power to protect our community - because of the simple truth that abortion is healthcare and a human right. I wholeheartedly support CM Vela’s GRACE Act and believe it must be passed as soon as possible.

Yours in community,
Vanessa
Council Member, District 2
Louisa Brinsmade
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:27 pm

Re: The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Louisa Brinsmade »

I am posting on behalf of Council Member Pool. She would like to join as co-sponsor for this important resolution, and will post shortly with a statement.

Thank you for bringing this item.

Louisa
Policy Advisor
Office of Leslie Pool, Council Member District 7
Louisa Brinsmade
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:27 pm

Re: The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Louisa Brinsmade »

On behalf of Council Member Pool:

Colleagues,

Thank you CM Vela for your work on this most important matter. I have fought in the choice movement my whole life, and during that time strengthened my core belief that people are capable of their own health care decisions, and that autonomy should never be abridged by any government action.

In 30 days it will even be illegal for a victim of rape and / or incest to make their own personal decisions. At the City of Austin we must do what we can to protect fundamental health care rights, and stand up to those who are determined to see those rights violated. I would be proud to co-sponsor this effort.

I look forward to our discussion.

Leslie
Policy Advisor
Office of Leslie Pool, Council Member District 7
Alison Alter
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Alison Alter »

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you Council Member Vela for bringing this item forward. I remain devastated by the SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and I believe we have a responsibility to protect our residents and their right to make their own healthcare decisions. Abortion access is integral to reproductive freedom. I look forward to working with each of you to do everything in our power to protect the reproductive rights of Austinites, and I would like to be added as a cosponsor to this item.

Regards,
Alison Alter
Council Member, District 10
Jose Chito Vela
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:16 am

Re: The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Jose Chito Vela »

Thank you so much to CM Pool and CM Alter for all your work protecting and defending critical and fundamental rights for our people. I appreciate and welcome your cosponsorship of the GRACE Act resolution. I look forward to working with you to get this important item passed.

Saludos,

Chito
Ann Kitchen
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: The GRACE Act - Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone

Post by Ann Kitchen »

CM Vela

Thank you for quickly putting together and bringing the GRACE Act for Council consideration on July 21st. The city has a history of standing up for women's reproductive health, including supporting Planned Parenthood. As we respond to this latest, and even more egregious, threat to women's health and safety - we must trust women, recognize this as a health issue, and do everything we can as a city. The GRACE Act is an effective and appropriate approach.

Thank you for adding my name as a cosponsor of the GRACE Act.

Best
Ann Kitchen
City Council D5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5
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