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San Antonio City Council establishes Reproductive Justice Fund

$500,000 will be distributed to nonprofits providing reproductive care. The money could be used to cover out-of-state abortions.

SAN ANTONIO — On Thursday, the San Antonio City Council passed a historic budget. A record $3.7 billion in spending was approved for the next fiscal year.

Public safety was a big focus for council members. 

However, a comparatively small item, making up 0.01% of the budget, caused a lot of controversy. In fact, councilman Marc Whyte voted against the budget because of it.

“City governments should not be allocating funds for abortion,” Whyte said.

San Antonio is establishing a Reproductive Justice Find. $500,000 will be distributed to nonprofits providing reproductive care.

“This fund is really going to doula care, especially for people of color who are more likely to have complicated pregnancies,” said Ariana Rodriguez with Jane’s Due Process. “This is going to emergency contraception, STI testing.”

Some city leaders are hoping the money will also be used to cover travel expenses for out-of-state abortions.

“I hope we are increasing access to safe abortions where they are legal in whatever way we can legally provide that support,” said councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez.

"Texans who want care have to travel out of state,” said Rodriguez. “So, that means, 'How many days are you going to have to take off work to get care? Are you going on a plane, are you going in a car? How are you getting out of the state?'”

Anti-abortion advocates say the money should have gone to pregnancy care centers.

“We are tremendously disappointed, but not surprised,” said Amy O’Donnell with Texas Alliance for Life. “What is important to note is that another law was passed, I believe two sessions ago, bans contracts between cities or municipalities and abortion providers and their affiliates. Now, there is somewhat of a loophole there that some of the side logistics funding organizations fall under. We are working to close that loophole because that will address some of what we are seeing with these city budget attempts to fund abortion travel.”

Mayor Ron Nirenberg told KENS 5 the city is complying with state and federal law.

“But I am confident we will be filling a gap that’s desperately needed,” Nirenberg added.

The Reproductive Justice Fund will be discussed at future city council meetings.


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