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El Paso County leaders approve resolution to support individuals seeking abortion services

El Paso County Commissioners Courtroom (KFOX14/CBS4)
El Paso County Commissioners Courtroom (KFOX14/CBS4)
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El Paso County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Monday to protect individuals in El Paso who may seek abortion services.

Today Commissoner Court unanimously adopted a resolution I introduced affirming the County’s position to comply with state and federal law but that stands in solidarity with individuals impacted by state and federal laws on abortion by taking certain policy positions in support of reproductive medical care," Commissioner David Stout stated on Facebook.

The resolution comes a little more than two weeks before Texas' "trigger law" banning nearly all abortions will take effect on Aug. 25.

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The resolution includes the following:

  • We urge the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office to exercise their lawful discretion to not initiate targeted investigations and prosecutions into the crime of abortion.

  • We direct the County Attorney to actively seek participation, as a plaintiff or amicus curia, in on-going or future litigation to protect the availability of abortion medical services in El Paso.

  • We direct that County staff, in consultation with the County Attorney’s Office, to review the County’s employment health guidelines and bring forward for consideration any policy proposals or amendments to ensure individuals have access to appropriate medical care, unless otherwise prohibited by State or federal law.

  • We direct the County Administrator to consider budgetary proposals for FY 2023 or FY 2024 to ensure accessible maternal and child health services for El Paso County residents.

  • We direct that an item be added to the El Paso County Legislative Agenda that opposes any legislation that seeks to criminalize or penalize a person seeking medical care that may include an abortion.

  • We stand in solidarity with individuals who will be impacted by state and federal laws on abortion.

Members of the public, some who were for the resolution and some who were against it, spoke at the meeting.

"The access to healthcare that you mentioned and the reproductive healthcare is important because that is considered a need," said Dora Oaxaca.

"Abortion is not a women's rights issue, this is not about women's rights, this is about the right to life of the unborn and this is an issue of murder and how we should regard murder in our county," said Carlos Montijo, a pastor at ThornCrown Ministries. "There is no need for abortion in any circumstance, there is no need to intentionally kill a child in order to protect the life of the mother."

"It brings me great pride to have the county commissioners and the county court aim to protect us, aim to protect access, and aim to protect all people and their right to reproductive healthcare," said Perla, co-leader of Frontera Folx for Reproductive Justice.

Watch the full discussion here:

Commissioners Stout, Iliana Holguin, Carlos Leon and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego were present for the vote.

"I think it's important for us to do as much as we can within the confines of the law to make sure people are safe and feeling safe," said Stout.

The El Paso City Council last month rejected an item that would have directed El Paso police to make investigating abortion their lowest priority and would have made it so tax dollars would not be used to investigate abortion.

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