Dallas city council moves to limit law enforcement’s ability to enforce state-wide abortion ban

The Dallas City Council’s seven member “quality of life, arts, and culture” committee have put forward a “reproductive rights” resolution that would attempt to limit the ability of law enforcement to enforce Texas’ abortion ban in the city.

The Dallas Morning News reports the resolution would ban city staff from cooperating with any abortion related investigation unless the situation would uphold a person’s desire to terminate their unborn child. The guidance would also direct Dallas Police Department and other law enforcement to make abortion investigations the lowest priority for authorities.

The resolution also restricts city management from using city resources, such as money, personnel, and equipment, from being used in abortion related investigations, especially banning the storage of any abortion related information. Further restrictions to city officials include not providing pregnancy information to authorities writ large nor following up as to whether pregnancies even existed in most cases.

According to D Magazine, Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua lead the efforts of writing the resolution and said  it “technically really does accomplish the decriminalization here locally,” even if it carves out the necessary language to ostensibly adhere to state and federal law.

Bazaldua said that “there’s not much of an investigation that could be done if there’s no resources that are able to be allocated” to enforcing the abortion laws.

If approved by the “quality of life, arts, and culture” committee, the resolution would move up to a vote from the full City Council and then hit the mayor’s desk for signature into law.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the committee’s measures wouldn’t apply if there were health complications with the pregnancy or in cases where a crime such as rape or sexual assault was suspected.

Bazaldua said the resolution was modeled after Austin’s “Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone Act” which passed on July 22 and the two measures share similar language and intent.

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