In a fervent battle for their deeply-held beliefs, pro-life groups have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Antonio, alleging that residents are being compelled to finance abortions against their will. The lawsuit is a culmination of tensions surrounding the use of taxpayer funds for activities that directly contradict the moral and religious convictions of a significant portion of the city’s population.
The San Antonio Family Association (SAFA) and Texas Right to Life (TRTL) have sued the City of San Antonio over its decision to allocate $500,000 in taxpayer money to abortion-trafficking organizations that violate Texas law. Their attorneys have also sent litigation-hold letters to Texas abortion funds, demanding they preserve all documents and evidence related to their abortion-procurement activities.
The lawsuit was filed today after the city council established a so-called “Reproductive Justice Fund” in the city’s budget for fiscal year 2024, which will provide grants to organizations that pay the travel costs of pregnant women who leave the state to kill their unborn children.
The organizations that lobbied for this budgetary provision and hope to obtain this taxpayer money include Jane’s Due Process, Avow, the Buckle Bunnies Fund, Sueños Sin Fronteras and the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity. Most of these organizations violate Texas law by “procuring” out-of-state abortions, which is a criminal act when any part of the procurement process occurs within Texas. The Buckle Bunnies Fund also assists illegal self-managed abortions in Texas, which violates the state’s criminal abortion laws and the murder statute.
“It is a criminal offense to donate money to abortion funds that procure out-of-state abortions for Texas residents,” says Michael Knuffke, president of SAFA. “We will expose the criminal activities of these organizations and put an end to their violent and murderous acts. Anyone involved with these abortion-trafficking organizations, including their donors, will be prosecuted under state law and sued under the Texas Heartbeat Act.”
“The women and families of San Antonio who are facing a crisis pregnancy, and local taxpayers trying to make ends meet do not deserve to be victims of city officials,” adds Patrick Von Dohlen, co-founder and board member of SAFA. “A city that gives taxpayer money to abortion funds will be sued, and any abortion fund that tries to obtain taxpayer money will be subpoenaed and have its activities exposed.”
Dr. John Seago, president of Texas Right to Life, states his organization is honored to partner with the San Antonio Family Association to fight back against San Antonio’s extreme pro-abortion city council as they have seen countless local governments announce their pro-death ideology and opposition to the life-saving work of the Texas State Legislature. Texas Right to Life believes the city council of San Antonio has gone further to actually participate in and finance the criminal activities of several dangerous pro-abortion groups.
“This lawsuit will stop the city from violating the pro-life consciences of their citizens and protect women and their children from the predatory groups hoping to receive taxpayer funding,” Seago says.
While the San Antonio Family Association and Texas Right to Life are the primary co-plaintiffs in this case, other local pro-life groups have joined the lawsuit including Allied Women’s Center, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Leadership Coalition, The Republican Party of Bexar County, The Bexar Conservatives and Unite San Antonio. Dozens of individual Texans have also joined as plaintiffs.
“It is integral that from this case,” says Danny Petri, SAFA board member, “city councils throughout Texas understand residents across the state have rejected pro-death policies and will not allow their monies to be used illegally.”
San Antonio residents oppose abortion, and earleir this year they rejected a proposal to legalize aborting unborn babies on the ballot.
The proposed ordinance, Proposition A, came from pro-abortion groups and basically would have legalized the killing of unborn babies in abortions in San Antonio.
However, the ballot measure failed by a huge margin Saturday with 72 percent of voters opposed, according to the Texas Tribune.
Amy O’Donnell, communications director at Texas Alliance for Life, celebrated the victory after her organization spent months working to defeat the proposal.
“We are tremendously pleased to see that San Antonio voters have defeated Prop A so decisively,” O’Donnell said. “Prop A would have been tragic for unborn children and victims of trafficking who would have been left without the protection from abortion they deserve by San Antonio police.”
She said the ordinance would have required city police to ignore state laws that protect unborn babies’ lives and women’s health, fertility and safety from illegal and back alley abortions.
San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas, and cities tend to lean far left politically. Despite these factors and claims by abortion activists that most Americans support abortion on demand, the ballot measure failed.
In September 2021, Texas became the first state in almost 50 years that the courts allowed to enforce a pre-viability abortion ban. Then, in June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a historic ruling and began allowing states to protect unborn babies from abortion again. Now, all elective abortions are banned in Texas.
Data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission shows zero legal elective abortions and three medically necessary abortions legally performed to save the life of the mother in August 2022. In comparison, in August 2021, 5,706 unborn babies were aborted in Texas, according to state health data.
Pro-life leaders estimate that tens of thousands of babies have been saved from abortion since the Texas heartbeat law went into effect.
In November, Texans elected even more pro-life Republicans to their state legislature, contradicting predictions that the abortion ban would cause a blue wave in the southern state.
This spring, lawmakers also approved $225 million in funding to the state Alternatives to Abortion program to help pregnant and parenting families in need.