Bexar County Commissioners pass abortion rights resolution, signaling opposition to states’ ban

The “Individual Rights to Healthcare” resolution was passed November 15

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Commissioners Court passed a resolution Tuesday aimed at limiting local enforcement of the state’s anti-abortion laws.

While the resolution is largely symbolic, it does outline directives for county staff, including the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

In part, the resolution limits the county’s role in sharing reports, conducting surveillance, or pursuing a criminal investigation related to abortion “except to the extent otherwise required by state or federal law.”

The “Individual Rights to Healthcare” resolution affirms “a woman’s right to choose and formally condemns any actions intended to restrict, abrogate or deny the liberties of Bexar County residents.”

The resolution recommends that no county resources are used to collect or share information for the purpose of enforcing abortion-related crimes.

Additionally, the county called on law enforcement to join in the protection of Bexar County residents and their personal liberties, asking officials to deprioritize criminal enforcement of abortion-related crimes, except as required by law.

District Attorney Joe Gonzales spoke on his stance on the prosecution of abortion-related crimes.

“I just do not see the justice in prosecuting somebody for making such a decision that’s so personal to them. I don’t see the justice in prosecuting agencies and medical care providers that provide that assistance.”

The resolution was passed with the support of four out of five county commissioners. Precinct 3 Commissioner Marialyn Barnard, the only Republican commissioner, was the sole “no” vote.

Lastly, the county stated its intent to prioritize legislation for the protection of reproductive rights in the county’s legislative agenda for the upcoming State of Texas legislative session that supports the rights of individuals to make private reproductive decisions.

Alyssa Doublet, a spokesperson for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, issued the following statement in support of the resolution:

“The resolution does not make abortion legal; that would require changing state or federal laws. But the resolution is an important step aimed at restraining enforcement of the state’s medieval, undemocratic, anti-abortion laws inside the county.”

Planned Parenthood issued its own statement:

“It will not be enough to shield providers so that they can provide abortion in Texas. Elected officials should, however, do what they can to protect individuals in their locality.”

The county resolution also comes after the city approved a similar resolution in July, limiting local law enforcement of the state ban. Although the city cannot direct the San Antonio Police Department to enforce, they can give a policy recommendation to not criminalize women.

Read the full resolution below.

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About the Authors:

Victoria Lopez is a Digital Journalist at KSAT. Before joining the team in July 2022, she worked as a Digital Reporter at CBS 4 Rio Grande Valley and Local 23 News. Victoria graduated with a degree in Mass Communications — Public Relations from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.