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STOP Travis County Property Tax-Funded Abortions

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URGENT: The Travis County Commissioners will vote on Tuesday, September 21, on a budget for Central Health (formerly known as the Travis County Healthcare District) that continues to include a whopping $450,000 for elective abortions (same as the previous budget) funded by property taxes. The abortions -- as many as 1,000 during the next 12 months -- will be performed on demand on healthy women with healthy unborn babies. No medical reason or referral is required.

Read the latest developments in the September 20, 2010, Urgent Alert...

Through the Travis County Healthcare District (TCHD)*, property tax dollars are currently being used to fund elective abortions for low-income women.

When this was brought to light, Texas Alliance for Life worked closely with several other pro-life organizations to raise public awareness and organize opposition to the contracts. Despite tremendous public opposition, on Dec. 10 the TCHD board of managers voted unanimously to approve proposed contracts with three local abortion providers that use $450,000 in property taxes to pay for approximately 1,000 abortions for the next 12 months.

The contracts are with Planned Parenthood at 201 E. Ben White Blvd., Whole Women's Health at 8401 N. IH 35, and Austin Women's Health Center at 1902 S. IH 35. The abortions will be performed on demand on healthy women with healthy unborn babies. No medical reason or referral is required.

On Dec. 10, Texas Alliance for Life and several religious, public policy, and pregnancy assistance organizations held a news conference to oppose the abortion contracts. Later that evening, the meeting at the Travis County Commissioners Courtroom drew an overflow crowd of nearly 200 people, most of whom opposed taxpayer funding for abortions.

Numerous residents, including pro-life Texas Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo, gave compelling testimony, and many more who signed up to testify were not heard because the board allowed only 90 minutes for public comment.

Among those who did testify was TAL's executive director Joe Pojman, Ph.D.:

The Travis County Healthcare District has the remarkable distinction of being the only political subdivision in Texas that pays for elective abortions -- abortions performed on healthy mothers with healthy unborn babies -- with property tax dollars, indeed tax dollars of any kind.

A woman who had three abortions at Austin Women's Health Center testified about the lack of information she had been provided. She never knew the name of the physician. In one case, she was given counseling after she was sedated. She described the great regrets she now has: "In hindsight I did not know -- I was not informed as to what the procedures were that were going on inside . . . If I had known about the true procedure and what goes down I would've never had any part in it."

In addition to the testimony, a petition opposing the contracts with more than 10,000 signatures gathered in less than two weeks was presented to the board.

Despite this opposition, the board voted in favor of the contracts.

At the board's next regular meeting on Dec. 17, Texas Alliance for Life and a number of local pro-life organizations that provide alternatives to abortions testified about the need for the TCHD to promote compassionate alternatives to abortion.

TAL will continue to seek ways to prevent and stop taxpayer funding for abortion, and to promote compassionate alternatives to abortion.

* The TCHD recently changed its name to Central Health.


ACTION NEEDED:

Our efforts are far from over. Please sign the "Petition Against Property Tax-Funded Abortions by the Travis County Healthcare District."

Download the hard copy to circulate it throughout your church and community.

Please return signed copies of the petition to Texas Alliance for Life, 2026 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78705.


BACKGROUND:

  • The Travis County Healthcare District is a taxing authority created by voters in 2004 to fund health care for low-income residents. It is governed by a board of managers, which must approve the abortion contracts with a separate vote. The board has nine members -- four appointed by the Travis County Commissioners, four appointed by the Austin City Council, and one jointly appointed. Each serves a four-year term. (Click on each for more information):

  • Texas Alliance for Life's research has revealed that the City of Austin has funded elective abortions since the 1970s. In 2004, the TCHD was created by voters to use county property taxes to pay for health care at local hospitals and clinics for low-income residents. The TCHD took over the City's abortion contracts and renewed them at least three times.
  • In August 2009, the TCHD approved its 2010 annual budget, which includes a $450,000 line item for "Women's Services" (abortions). The Travis County Commissioners approved the TCHD budget at their Sept. 22 meeting, as required by state law.
  • To see how much in property taxes you are paying to the Travis County Healthcare District, visit the Travis Central Appraisal District at www.traviscad.org.


TCHD Contact Information:

Ph: 512.978.8000

Travis County Healthcare District
1111 E. Cesar Chavez St., Ste. B
Austin, Texas 78702

Learn more:
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VIDEOS OF PRO-LIFE TESTIMONY ON THIS ISSUE

TAL Executive Director Joe Pojman, Ph.D., at the Dec. 10 meeting
of the TCHD board of managers



Victor Carrillo, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission
at the Dec. 10 meeting of the TCHD board of managers



Dr. Mikeal Love, M.D., Ob-Gyn, at the Dec. 10 meeting
of the TCHD board of managers



Former client of Austin Women's Health Center at the Dec. 10 meeting
of the TCHD board of managers



TAL Executive Director Joe Pojman, Ph.D., at the Nov. 12 meeting
of the TCHD board of managers



TAL Public Policy Director Dina Meyer at the Oct. 22 meeting
of the TCHD board of managers

updated 9/8/10