Reproductive Justice Fund is outside the scope of city government

Much of the budget just passed by the City of San Antonio for fiscal year 2024 is good for our city. Over the past few months, my office fought to get the funding for the 100 additional police officers that will now be patrolling the streets of San Antonio. We also got the funding to provide the police with bulletproof glass for their vehicles so we can keep our brave men and women safe while on patrol. Further, we were able to secure an unprecedented amount of money in this budget for infrastructure for District 10 and the other districts. And regarding homeless encampments, the budget now gives the city money to meet its commitment to clean up all identified encampments within two weeks. Because of this, and up until 10 days ago, I was ready to vote “yes” on the budget.

But at the 11th hour, several of my council colleagues proposed a budget amendment of $500,000 for what they named a Reproductive Justice Fund.  They suggested funding this through additional CPS revenue received by the city. The City of San Antonio has already dedicated more than $16 million towards women’s health in the coming year. That fact, combined with public comments made by various council members regarding which organizations should get a piece of the $500,000, made clear that the intent of the Reproductive Justice Fund is to give money to groups who will pay for San Antonians to travel to other states to have abortions. This is where I have a problem.

Make no mistake about it, this is not about my feelings on the sensitive topic of abortion. Nor should it be about any of the other council members’ positions on the issue. This is about the role of city government. This is about what our city government should and should not be spending your tax dollars on.  

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