Funding Abortion in Austin, TX

Policy Win
Expanding Abortion AccessEliminating Racial & Economic Disparities

Because cost is one of the major barriers to access to abortion care, NIRH is committed to securing state and municipal funding for people who need to access abortion care.

In 2019, Austin became the second city in the country to begin dedicating municipal funding each year for practical support for those seeking abortion care.

Following the successful #FundAbortionNYC campaign, NIRH worked closely with a range of groups in Texas to pass local funding in the city of Austin – including All* Above All, Avow (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice Texas), Fund Texas Choice, Jane’s Due Process, Lilith Fund, and Mama Sana Vibrant Woman.

Austin was not able to provide funds to directly cover abortion care, as New York City did, because a state law preempts any locality in Texas from funding abortion. But working with advocates, we helped the Austin City Council craft an ordinance that did not violate the preemption law but funded support for abortion care, meaning the indirect costs of abortion access, such as costs of travel, lodging, child care, etc.

In 2020, the campaigns for renewed funding in Austin included calls to reallocate funding from the Austin Police Department, recognizing the reality that police violence and inequities in abortion access are both rooted in systemic racism that denies the humanity of Black, Indigenous, and people of color and inhibits their ability to thrive. Ultimately, Austin, TX reallocated $100 million from its police budget to other local services, including $250,000 for practical support for abortion care – a $100,000 increase from 2019.

This tremendous victory is groundbreaking and serves as a model for other cities to follow – especially cities in states with anti-abortion preemption laws.

Municipal funding for abortion support helps people maintain control of their own bodies, lives, and futures.”
Andrea Miller, President of NIRH