The ACLJ Files Brief Urging Texas Supreme Court to Hear Case Involving Misapplication of Roe v. Wade and Taxpayer Funding for Abortion-Related Services

By 

Laura Hernandez

|

July 26, 2021

1 min read

Pro Life

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) just filed an amicus brief in Zimmerman v. City Austin, urging the Texas Supreme Court to hear a case involving the use of taxpayer money to support abortion related services.

Texas is at the forefront of the effort to defund Planned Parenthood.  In 2019, the state passed a statute barring taxpayer subsidization of all entities that perform abortions.  But the City of Austin circumvented that law by allocating taxpayer funds to organizations that provide logistical support for women who seek abortions. What does logistical support include? Things like transportation to abortion centers and child care.

Because the money does not go directly to abortionists, the City’s budget allocation does not technically violate the 2019 law.  But as the Plaintiff, Mr. Zimmerman, a resident of Austin, recognized, that doesn’t mean the budget allocation is legal.  Texas’s abortion statutes are still on the books.  The Texas legislature refused to repeal them even though they were held unconstitutional, in part, by Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide. While under Roe, those provisions cannot be enforced against a woman seeking an abortion, they are still valid in other contexts. There is no constitutional right to a taxpayer-funded abortion. And there is certainly no right to transportation to an abortion center or child care during the procedure. The City of Austin’s budget allocation for such services therefore violates the Texas abortion statute prohibiting anyone from “furnishing the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended.”

Joined by 10 other pro-life groups on our brief, the ACLJ argued that the Texas Supreme Court should hear the case and hold that Texas’s abortion statutes barred the City of Austin’s attempt to fund abortion support services.  “Texas’s abortion statutes remain enforceable against the City of Austin’s proposed funding for entities providing support to women seeking abortions, because it is undisputed that the enforcement of those statutes against these expenditures of taxpayer money will not violate anyone’s constitutional rights.” We explained further that the “lower court’s holding that Texas’s abortion statutes are void as if never enacted usurps the legislature’s exclusive power to enact and repeal laws.”

With your ongoing support, we will continue the fight against taxpayer subsidization of abortionists, as well as those who provide abortion related support services.