Former Austin City Councilman and current state representative candidate Don Zimmerman is suing the City of Austin over a recently approved item in the city budget providing $150,000 for individuals to help subsidize their abortions.
The budget item is a recent addition by the city intended to continue funneling taxpayer dollars to abortion providers despite the Texas Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 22, which made it illegal for cities to hand taxpayer cash directly to abortion businesses.
That legislation came as pro-life advocates sought to ban taxpayer-subsidized abortion in Texas, such as the sweetheart deal in which the City of Austin leases Planned Parenthood a taxpayer-owned property worth over $100,000 in annual lease payments for an exclusive price of $1 per year for nearly 50 years.
Renewed shortly before SB 22 passed, Planned Parenthood’s lease was grandfathered in and will not be affected by the new law. However, that wasn’t enough for abortion supporters on the Austin City Council, who worked to set aside $150,000 from taxpayers and use it for logistical costs of getting an abortion, such as rides to a facility; hotel rooms; and, ironically, childcare.
Zimmerman said Thursday the council’s decision to fund abortion access services was just the latest in a long line of instances where the left-leaning body has foisted its politics on Austin taxpayers.
“They are always trying to put more money behind their ideological preferences,” Zimmerman told the Austin American-Statesman. “The progressives are always trying to make taxpayers pay for their progressive ideologies.”
According to the lawsuit, Zimmerman claims the new budget item is in violation of other state laws, including one that “imposes criminal liability on anyone who ‘furnishes the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended.'”
Zimmerman, the sole plaintiff in this case, is asking the court to block the funding and declare “the mayor and the city are violating state law by providing taxpayer money to abortion-assistance organizations,” according to Wednesday’s filing.
A Texas A&M-educated engineer, Don Zimmerman has been a longtime activist in the Travis County Republican Party and served one term on the Austin City Council. He is currently seeking the Republican nomination for House District 47, which is held by Democrat Vikki Goodwin.