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Resolution to limit abortion investigations in Dallas to be presented to full city council

A Dallas council committee passed a version of the "Grace Act" and will present it to the full city council as early as Aug. 10.

DALLAS — Editor's note: This story has been updated after the council committee voted to pass the resolution.

Dallas will become the latest Texas city to consider a response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and how that affects abortions in the state.

A special meeting by the council's Quality of Life committee was held Tuesday afternoon as they looked to garner support for a resolution to address Texas' abortion law.

Councilman Adam Bazaldua of District 7 said the meeting was called as the state's "trigger law" inches closer to going into effect with the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Most abortions are already illegal in Texas, but on Aug. 25, performing one will become a felony, with punishment of up to life in prison and fines up to $100,000. There is no exception for rape or incest. The only exception is if the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.

The Dallas council committee looked to follow in the footsteps of Denton and Austin in passing a resolution that would deprioritize investigations into abortions.

According to Bazaldua, the committee would consider their own version of the "Grace Act" to limit city resources in abortion investigations.

The committee passed the resolution on Tuesday and will now present it to the full city council as early as Aug. 10.

"We don't have the purview at the local level to legalize abortion. We do have the authority to limit the resources and the funding that will be allocated to any investigation of this egregious legislation," Bazaldua said.

The resolution would prevent city resources from being used to create records for a person seeking an abortion, provide information to governmental bodies or agencies about pregnancy outcomes and conduct surveillance to determine if an abortion occurred.

Investigations or prosecutions of abortion allegations would also be the lowest priority for law enforcement under the "Grace Act."

Bazaldua told WFAA he's heard from Dallas women struggling to access care for miscarriages and from doctors who aren't sure what kind of care they can provide.

"They can at least know there's not every level of government that's going to be raiding their clinics, that's going to be expending resources and prioritizing the health care decisions that them and their families have made," Bazaldua said.

Kimberlyn Schwartz of Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion organization, calls the resolution a "heartbreaking trend."

"They're following the path of liberal cities like Austin that's landed themselves in lawsuits over these issues before," Schwartz said.

"There are tons of prolife pregnancy centers, adoption agencies and maternity homes that can help women and that are seeing a surge in women who are seeking help and that’s where the attention should be focused," Schwartz added. "But instead the city council is trying to pass this resolution that would let abortionists do whatever they want?"

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