As Texas Cracks Down On Abortion, Austin Votes To Help Women Defray Costs

Austin is about to become the first city in the U.S. to fund groups that help women who seek abortions pay for related logistical costs, such as a babysitter, a hotel room or transportation. The move is an effort to push back against a new Texas law that went into effect Sept. 1. The state law bans local governments from giving money to groups that provide abortions — even if that money doesn’t pay for the actual procedure. Last week, the Austin City Council approved a line item for the city’s latest budget that, as of Oct. 1, sets aside $150,000 to pass along to nonprofits led by abortion rights activists that provide “logistical support services” for low-income women in the city. Supporters of the new city budget item describe it as a unique workaround to the state’s law, because none of these groups actually provide abortions. “The city has to find creative ways to help vulnerable communities in our city, and I see this as just another way,” says Councilwoman Delia Garza, Austin’s