Austin, Texas made national headlines last week after the all-Democrat city council voted to defund the police department to the tune of $150 million. But what wasn't so widely reported was how the far left council then chose to redistribute those funds.
In a budget package for 2021 that was unanimously approved by the city council, the police were gutted by nearly 34 percent. Their annual budget had been $434 million; the loss of $150 million for 2021 was set to take place gradually, throughout the year.
The money siphoned from the police didn't go back to the taxpayers, either. In one line item on the budget proposal, $150,000 was set aside for "abortion logistical services," according to a report from CBN. The language of the allocation effectively usurps Texas law banning taxpayer funds from paying for abortion.
According to a law that was passed last year by the Texas State legislature, no taxpayer revenue was legally allowed to be applied to abortion businesses, nor their affiliates. But by describing the money set aside for abortion as "logistical services," it permits the funds to go toward other expenses encountered in the abortion business. Some of those include transport to abortion facilities and legal council, both costly endeavors for which pro-abortion activists often express financial need.
One pro-life activist called the redistribution of tax dollars for what it was.
"Imagine defunding the police and diverting part of the money to fund abortion," said Obianuju Ekeocha via Twitter. "No I’m not joking."
Ekeocha has dedicated her life and career to saving the lives of the unborn and calling out hypocrisy by pro-abortion advocates.
Imagine defunding the police and diverting part of the money to fund abortion.— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) August 17, 2020
No I’m not joking.
This is diabolical. https://t.co/5uXkPrjlsW
Money allocated in the city budget for "social services" and health care filed under "abortion access" was increased to $250,000.
"But abortion is not health care," said Texas Right to Life in a statement. "Abortion does nothing to improve the safety or wellness of our communities. A procedure that always ends in the death of a preborn child and leaves women spiritually, mentally, and oftentimes physically scarred cannot be said to promote safety and care."
As Austin police face one of the highest percentage budget cuts in the nation, they are also experiencing one of the highest surges in rates of homicide and violent crime. In the month of June, the city saw a nearly 65 percent increase in murders from that same period in 2019. That increase was the highest in the nation during a summer in which homicides spiked across the country.
#Austin leads the country in percentage change for homicides compared to the previous year. @Officer_Bino said it best: This is not the list we want to be on https://t.co/gV7A4iPI3v pic.twitter.com/7VWW0lfTBb— Lt Eve Stephens (@apdevestephens) August 3, 2020
Attorney General Ken Paxton slammed the city council for their choice to deal a death blow to the city police department.
"The city council's action to slash funding disregards the safety of our capital city, its citizens, and the many guests who frequent it," said Paxton in a statement. "The City of Austin already struggles to combat widespread crime, violence and homelessness."
Austin’s murder rate is up 64% this year, and that’s before the Austin City Council took $150 million from police and shifted some of the funds to abortion-related services. https://t.co/PO6iR8FIhm— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) August 15, 2020