Austin Expands Abortion Access with Passage of Historic City Council Budget

September 10, 2019
Contact: Noah Gardy, [email protected], 201-218-6310

In response to state and national attacks on reproductive freedom, the Austin City Council approves $150,000 to protect access to abortion, becoming the first city in the nation to fund practical support for care

AUSTIN – Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH), released the following statement today cheering the Austin City Council’s adoption of a historic budget directing $150,000 to protect and advance access to abortion care. Coming in response to state and national attacks on reproductive freedom, including the passage of extreme Texas state laws creating new obstacles for patients, the funding will allow organizations that help provide abortions to offer transportation, lodging, childcare, doula and emotional support to Austinites.
Earlier this year, the New York City Council approved funding to directly pay for abortions through the New York Abortion Access Fund, indicating a growing movement at the municipal level to expand access to care. Austin’s funding will be particularly impactful for low-income residents and people of color who are disproportionately affected by Texas’ web of restrictions.

“In anti-choice Texas, the Austin City Council has taken bold action to protect abortion access, proving that cities can lead the fight for reproductive freedom in the face of both state and federal government attacks,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health and NIRH Action Fund. “We applaud Council Members Greg Casar and Delia Garza along with the tireless advocates at the Lilith Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, who championed this effort to ensure Austinites maintain control of their own bodies, lives, and futures. We encourage cities across this nation to find inspiration in Austin’s example and continue looking for innovative ways to stand up for reproductive health, rights, and justice.”

For more than a decade, NIRH has been a leader in the fight to advance reproductive freedom across the country. Recently, they were integral to the successful effort to repeal an outdated criminal abortion ban in Massachusetts, and they led the fight to pass New York’s landmark Reproductive Health Act. Earlier this year, NIRH published a report tracking the passage of more than 100 bills to advance reproductive health, rights, and justice in 27 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.).


The National Institute for Reproductive Health builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.