Pro-life groups sue San Antonio over ‘reproductive justice fund’

Pro-life groups are suing the city of San Antonio over a “Reproductive Justice Fund” passed last month.

The city allocated $500,000 for the support of reproductive health services, possibly including funds for those attempting to get abortions out of state, as part of a wider budget, according to The Texas Tribune. 

In a lawsuit obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, the pro-life groups, along with other defendants, say they are aiming to “enjoin the city and its officials from providing taxpayer money to any organization that pays for abortion travel or that procures elective abortions for Texas residents.”

“It is a criminal offense to engage in conduct in Texas that ‘procures’ a drug-induced abortion—even when the abortion is performed out of state—so long as the procuring conduct occurs within the state of Texas,” states the lawsuit filed in Bexar County.

“It is also a crime to give money to organizations that violate the state’s abortion laws by ‘procuring’ drug-induced abortions, as any donation aids or abets the criminal activities of those organizations even if it is earmarked for non-abortion purposes,” the lawsuit later continues.

Michael Knuffke, president of the San Antonio Family Association, one of the groups suing the city, called donating money to abortion funds that procure out-of-state abortions for Texas residents a criminal offense.

“We will expose the criminal activities of these organizations and put an end to their violent and murderous acts. Anyone involved with these abortion-trafficking organizations, including their donors, will be prosecuted under state law and sued under the Texas Heartbeat Act,” Knuffke added in a press release. 

San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia said in an emailed statement that “[i]t is unfortunate taxpayer funds will be spent on defending against this lawsuit based on misinformation and false allegations.”

“The facts are that a decision has not been made on how that money will be used,” Segovia added. “The City Council will have an open work session to discuss the use of the funds that will be managed by the City’s Metro Health Department. The funds will be distributed in accordance with State and Federal Laws.”

San Antonio councilman Marc Whyte, who said he abstained from voting on the budget that included the fund, expressed his frustration over the fact the city will now have to spend funds on the lawsuit. He said he thinks the city council should “have no role at all” when it comes to abortion, as it has been left to the states by the Supreme Court. 

“Now we’re gonna end up spending city dollars defending ourselves in this lawsuit,” Whyte said.

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