El Paso GRACE Act Testimony: Sabrina Bustillos

Good afternoon mayor and council (with a belated congrats to the new members of the council that have already begun doing great things for the city), my name is Sabrina Bustillos and I’m here in my capacity as a community member and advocate with the Texas freedom network and their Just Texas program, which works to change the narrative surrounding abortion in faith communities, because the last I checked, there isn’t any room for hate in faith.

I’m here to urge the council to support this item. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what this item is actually about. Other major cities in the state of Texas, including Austin and Dallas, have successfully passed items similar to this. We can debate abortion all day, but wherever you stand on the issue of abortion, using city resources and funds to terrorize and harass those that believe reproductive freedom is wrong. The reality is, abortion is going to happen, regardless of the state’s attacks on bodily autonomy and regardless of anyone’s personal viewpoint.

It’s important to note that Texas’ trigger law and past legislative items like the Texas bounty law are intended to create frivolous lawsuits. Considering the vagueness of these laws and Texas’ history of abortion criminalization, citizens are worried they could be at risk for investigation or police intervention for simply distributing information regarding abortion. This is why we need our city to pass initiatives that protect our rights and state them plainly.

This agenda item is really the least we can do for the communities impacted the most by the overturning of Roe v Wade and I’m appreciative to have a council that acknowledges that. Thank you.