SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A San Marcos woman tearfully shared her experience dealing with an unexpected pregnancy during this week’s San Marcos city council meeting, saying she ultimately got an illegal abortion, as councilmember’s weighed options for protecting abortion access.
The woman, who KXAN has chosen not to name, said she found out she was pregnant seven weeks after conception because she experienced spotting, which she thought to be her period. In Texas right now, an abortion is illegal after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which usually happens around six weeks into a pregnancy.
“As I speak I am still bleeding from an illegal abortion I had,” the woman said, pausing to cry between sentences. “Just last week.”
The woman claimed she went to a San Marcos clinic only to find they had no options available for abortion, nor did they provide options for care.
“I told them I was in a verbally and emotionally toxic ‘situationship’ with what would have been the father, and I’m not ready to have a child, and they still made me hear the heartbeat and tried convincing me to work things out,” she said.
She did not elaborate on her illegal abortion but ended her comments by sharing concern about whether the fetus had been aborted properly. She said she was scared to get a medical check-up out of fear of being arrested.
According to San Marcos public safety staff, within city limits she wouldn’t be. Staff said in mid-July the San Marcos police chief directed officers not to investigate “elective abortion-related crimes unless an abortion or attempted abortion causes the life or serious injury of the expectant mother unrelated to a lawful medical procedure.”
It’s something the city council overwhelmingly agreed was the right move. Councilmember Mark Gleason added investigating abortions “shouldn’t be a priority when you’re short-handed.”
Meanwhile, members of the body looked at pieces of Austin’s GRACE Act passed late last month which asked staff to look into the following:
- Amend city code to prohibit discrimination based on reproductive health in regard to housing and employment
- Limit city funds used for gathering evidence about abortions and de-prioritizes enforcement of criminal laws surrounding abortion
- Explore the idea of a public education program on long-term birth control, including vasectomies
- Look at benefits for city employees to support access to reproductive health services that aren’t lawfully available in Texas anymore
San Marcos council members did not vote on any items, but talked about moving forward with some of its own protections for abortion access and care. They used Austin’s act as a jumping off point but did not agree with all of its elements, the last bullet in particular.
“I do have problems with any elective procedures, the city paying for that, I just don’t think that’s appropriate,” Gleason said. He later said there was “no way” he would support taxpayer money going towards elective procedures.
Mayor Jane Hughson said she thought it could even be illegal.
“The need for cities to do something as a counterpoint to the legislation that was passed in Texas is palpable,” Councilmember Maxfield Baker said. The body agreed to continue looking into options.