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The town of Austin will provide access to cost-free menstrual products at city-owned facilities and, forward of a potential ban on abortion, will craft an ordinance to prohibit work and housing discrimination on the foundation of reproductive health choices — a measure that would be the very first of its variety in Texas.
The actions, passed by the Austin Town Council as two resolutions proposed by Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, appear in response to a possible abortion ban in Texas that public health experts say would disproportionally affect people of coloration and low-revenue family members.
Another resolution made available by Mayor Steve Adler declared the city’s guidance for inclusive reproductive care and tasked the town supervisor with researching how the city could provide family-developing assistance, such as fertility, adoption and fostering assistance for city staff.
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The three resolutions authorised Thursday also aim to bolster the metropolis of Austin’s support of residents’ reproductive health legal rights.
A draft U.S. Supreme Courtroom opinion leaked before this month indicated that the substantial court docket could upend the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established constitutional protections for abortion. The move also could have an impact on rulings that have guaranteed accessibility to other reproductive wellness care, such as contraception, some authorized experts stated.
Abortion, under the Texas regulation acknowledged as Senate Bill 8, is nevertheless permitted in the state, but the procedure is prohibited after six months of pregnancy, which is frequently in advance of folks are aware they are pregnant.
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Texas is amid 13 states, like the bordering states of Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, that would ban abortions comparatively promptly if the high court upends Roe in a final ruling predicted up coming thirty day period.
Austin’s Reproductive Health Final decision ordinance
The development of regulations towards discrimination — the Reproductive Well being Choice ordinance — shows the Town Council is having action past basically announcing support for reproductive legal rights, Fuentes stated.
“Updating the nondiscrimination ordinance is a way for us to be proactive in anticipation of the unavoidable overturning of Roe v. Wade,” Fuentes said. “Even nevertheless Austin is going to be the initial city of Texas to do this, a lot more metropolitan areas will adhere to. And it’s essential that I’m able to get the job done with other council users all over the other major cities in Texas to do a thing equivalent so that we have that toughness and numbers and so that we give a lot more protections for far more Texans.”
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The ordinance would guard everyone who faces discrimination at the place of work or in housing because of their reproductive choices.
Council Member Mackenzie Kelly Thursday voted versus the resolution to make the ordinance. The council will vote on whether to pass the ordinance following month.
“Austin is a city that empowers and respects our inhabitants to make their have selections above their reproductive overall health,” Adler explained in a statement Thursday. “The potential to obtain employment or housing ought to not be impacted dependent on private reproductive options. Discrimination of any kind does not stand for who we are as a metropolis and will not be tolerated.”
Where menstrual products and solutions will be available for no cost in Austin
The mayor and Council Members Fuentes, Chito Vela and Natasha Harper-Madison worked together with advocacy groups Pro-Decision With Coronary heart, Texas Menstrual Fairness Coalition and Jane’s Owing Process to bring the resolutions ahead.
The average person who has a menstrual cycle will shell out about $18,000 for every 12 months on menstrual items, in accordance to Fuentes’ resolution.
The resolution is established to be prioritized for the fiscal 2022-23 funds and the town supervisor was directed to look at it when drafting the proposed spending budget.
The metropolis supervisor also was directed Thursday to present no cost menstrual solutions at the adhering to facilities:
- Town-owned showers and bogs obtainable to individuals experiencing homelessness.
- Austin General public Well being services that provide the general public, like community centers and sexual well being clinics.
- All Austin General public Library amenities.
- All city-owned group recreation facilities and summertime camps.
“There is a 72% want in minimal-revenue households and families residing in poverty to have entry to period supplies. We get in touch with that ‘period poverty,'” explained Holly McDaniel, govt director of the Austin Diaper Lender, who spoke in favor of the resolution Thursday. “And sad to say, 1 in 5 folks in our local community seasoned that in this article in Austin. The local community is in favor of this. We are searching ahead to getting capable to provide time period supplies, pads and tampons and liners, in all metropolis structures.”
Austin American-Statesman reporter Natalia Contreras can be reached at 512-626-4036 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter and Fb, @NataliaECG.