DALLAS — Travis County District Attorney José Garza says the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the state legislature’s move to criminalize abortion will make our communities less safe.
The Democrat has joined many other DAs in large counties, including Dallas, Bexar and Fort Bend, in saying he will not prosecute any such case.
“Our office will not be prosecuting women who seek abortions. And we will not be prosecuting people who are legitimately attempting to provide abortion services,” Garza said on Inside Texas Politics.
Garza tells us no abortion cases have come to his office since Roe was overturned.
He says he has spoken to law enforcement leadership throughout Travis County, and they’ll continue working together to make sure they have a plan to keep the community safe. He told us that includes keeping open the lines of communication between prosecutors and law enforcement around potential cases.
“I think, generally speaking, our community is in agreement that the decision to overturn Roe is dangerous for our public safety, that laws that criminalize personal healthcare decisions are dangerous for our public safety,” said the district attorney.
Watch the segment below:
Immediately after the Supreme Court decision, state Rep. Briscoe Cain told us one of his top legislative priorities is to make sure every abortion crime is prosecuted.
The Republican from the Houston area said legislation could be introduced that allows district attorneys to prosecute folks living outside their county.
“I expect the urban county DAs to resist it. And that’s why we need to come up with alternative remedies,” Rep. Cain said at the time. “That is one of the main reasons we have civil enforcement under the Texas heartbeat bill. We knew that the major, urban DAs weren’t going to want to enforce these things, so we allowed for civil remedies.”
But the Travis County DA says the overwhelmingly majority of Texans live in those urban centers, and the Texas Legislature is increasingly out of touch with them.
“It took an enormous amount of suffering and struggle for women in the United States and women in the state of Texas to win the right to have control over their own personal health decisions,” said Garza. “It is clear that it’s going to take an enormous amount of struggle to win that right back.”