In the wake for being a victim of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe in v. Wade, federal states, local, and state legislators that support the right to abortion are scrambling to come up with legal ways to safeguard the right to abortion in states where restriction are likely to be imposed.
Council members of the city of Austin, Texas, are advocating that “decriminalization” might be a way for conservative cities with liberal states to bypass the restrictions on abortion rights. What is this going to look like? Is it legal?
Laws governing Post-Roe Triggers
Should Roe in v. Wade is overturned in the future, the Texas “trigger legislation” that is already in place will take effect which would ban abortions at any time, not including ones that could directly harm the life of the person who is pregnant. Texas is expected to have the most stringent abortion laws across the United States.
In this law, the act of having an abortion is considered a first-degree crime. If convicted, you could face the prison term ranges from 20 to 99 years or an amount of $10,000 in fine. A few abortion-rights advocates believe the trigger law could result in the prosecution of doctors offering abortions, as well as those who use medications via post to end their pregnancy at home.
What Does Abortion Decriminalization look like?
Although Texas is a state that intends to ban abortion Some city council members of Austin, the capital city Austin are preparing measures that will protect access to abortions in the town. This legislation, Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone (GRACE Act) is designed to eliminate the risk of being arrested within the city’s boundaries for both abortion patients and providers.
The GRACE Act would direct the Austin Police Department to make arrests and investigations into abortions as well as criminal investigations the least of its top priorities. This act also discourages the city’s employees and funds from investigating and reporting suspicions of abortions.
Austin City Council Austin City Council has previously adopted decriminalization laws that have similar enforcement techniques to those of the GRACE Act. The measure includes effectively decriminalizing cannabis , which stopped arrests for cannabis of low level possession. Cities across the country have followed similar things and have begun to legalize other drugs too. A number of progressive prosecutors across the United States have also removed the prosecution of certain minor offenses even when police have arrested those who have committed them.
It would, however, be unlawful to offer or request an abortion inside Austin city borders, the possibility of detention would be smaller.
What is the Future of Abortion in Austin as well as Other Cities
This makes Austin the first town in an red state to advocate for the decriminalization of abortion. Other cities across Texas as well as across the nation will likely be following suit.
In the event that Austin’s proposed blockade of the enforcing of restrictions on abortion within a frontier region that is where the majority of abortions will become unlawful, the city may become a refuge city for those who want to have abortions.
The situation is like U.S. cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration officials at the federal level in the detention of immigrants without the legal right to be in the country.
If the Austin City Council does adopt an amendment to the GRACE Act in the postRoe world, if it passes the GRACE Act in the post Roe the world this could allow for similar legislation from other cities throughout the country. This could have the capacity for protecting millions of citizens from prosecution. It is vital to keep in mind that no laws were passed as of yet. Roe in v. Wade still stands and the abortion in Texas is, despite being heavily restricted it is legally legal.
Austin City Councilmember Chito Vela, who is the creator of the GRACE Act, will not present it to full consideration until after the U.S. Supreme Court issues its ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthcase. In the event that it is decided that the GRACE Act or any similar city ordinance becomes law, it are more likely to face legal challenges of some sort. At the moment, it’s recommended to sit back and watch what the future will bring.
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