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Waco councilwoman suggests city ‘de-prioritize’ criminalization of abortion

Posted at 3:40 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 00:58:30-04

WACO, Texas — A city councilwoman wants the city of Waco to consider becoming a “GRACE Act” city in wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

Councilwoman Kelly Palmer made the suggestion during Tuesday night’s council meeting after Mayor Dillon Meek asked the council for future agenda items to consider.

“That seeks to de-prioritize the criminalization of abortion," Palmer said. "I recognize this is breaking with precedent, however, as one of the only people of childbearing age with a uterus on this stage, and deeply heartbroken by the impact of the repealing of Roe v. Wade […] I would like to ask that be added to a future agenda."

Meek simply replied “Alright” before the meeting wrapped up shortly thereafter.

Austin, Denton and other Texas municipalities have floated passing “GRACE ACT” legislation, which effectively directs local police and district attorneys to avoid investigating and prosecuting abortion providers. Legal experts say such moves wouldn’t have much bearing on any state civil or licensing penalties, which could impact a provider's ability to practice at all.

Texas' trigger law is set to take effect later this summer, which will forbid abortion except in cases where the health of the mother is at stake.

25 News spoke with Palmer on Wednesday about her suggestion. She is hopeful the council will consider such a resolution but is uncertain about whether or not it would pass.

"I'm not sure. We haven't really seen the city council engage in a lot of hot topic issues," Palmer said. "The council has been really intentional about that, but I think neutrality often is a gift and sometimes it can cause harm, so I would love to see my council members join in taking a stand."