Local government officials in Austin, Texas, are apparently bent on pushing radical sexual values as far as citizens will allow. The city announced this week it is budgeting $150,000 to directly aid women seeking abortions, while the local school board is proposing its own radical, pro-LGBTQ sex education program. Both moves are intended to defy new state laws by working around them.
As an amendment to its $4.2 billion budget, Austin is reportedly the first city in the nation to financially assist women seeking abortions. The City Council voted to earmark the $150,000 of taxpayer money as a way of skirting a new Texas law, SB 22, that bars government entities from funding abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. The amendment allows the city to offset abortion costs by helping women with related expenses such as travel, hotel and childcare.
Previously, Austin had a $1-a-year lease agreement with Planned Parenthood for its East Austin clinic. SB 22 was intended to stop such giveaways from occurring.
“It is appalling the city of Austin doubled-down on its policies to ‘save the trees, kill the children.’ This budget amendment is a political stunt attempting to circumvent the law. If the city really wants to help women, they should lower their taxes and stop killing innocent children,” said Nicole Hudgens, policy director at Texas Values, a conservative action group.
State Sen. Donna Campbell, primary author of the bill, said in a statement she would be working with the state attorney general to determine if Austin has violated more than just the spirit of SB 22.
Meanwhile, the Austin Independent School Board is proposing a radical sex-education program, much to the dismay of some parents. Austin officials had planned to use Planned Parenthood’s “Get Real” sex-ed curriculum. But after Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new law banning governments from doing business with abortion providers, the school board switched gears, with local officials rewriting the material themselves instead of using Planned Parenthood’s program.
Texas Values, along with a group called Concerned Parents of Texas, held a Town Hall meeting the week after school began to expose the dangers of the new proposed curriculum, which it calls “dangerous and age inappropriate.” The original curriculum from Planned Parenthood exposes middle school kids to graphic sexual scenarios and role playing under the guise of sexual ethics.
David Walls, vice president of Texas Values, says the school board has emphasized that it is simply following “national standards,” which Walls says don’t actually exist.
“There is no such thing as ‘national standards.’ These are radical advocacy groups [pushing this material] with a worldview that is completely opposed—even in Austin—to the viewpoint of most families,” Walls said.
The proposed curriculum—geared for kids as young as third grade—also seems to avoid state sex-ed standards requiring abstinence education by attempting to redefine abstinence, according to Texas Values.
The Austin school board has said parents will be able to review the material before it is implemented later this year, though some at the meeting expressed skepticism of what they said is the school board’s past lack of transparency.
“Austin ISD’s goal through this whole process is to keep parents in the dark,” Walls said. “They already wanted to be done with this.”