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Austin-based abortion funds respond to lawsuit from former council member

September 23, 2019

AUSTIN — Former Austin Council Member Don Zimmerman has named local abortion funds in a frivolous lawsuit against city funding for abortion access. The lawsuit is a response to the passage of an historic and groundbreaking city budget amendment that would provide $150,000 in funding for practical support for Austin residents seeking abortion care. The lawsuit names the funds as a way to bully us into backing down—the oldest trick in the anti-abortion playbook.

Recent Coverage: Former Council Member Don Zimmerman Sues to Travel Back in Time

The lawsuit names The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Fund Texas Choice, and The Bridge Collective as defendants, in addition to the Mayor and City of Austin.

The funds are responding today.

Statement from Lilith Fund Executive Director Amanda B. Williams:

“We are not intimidated. Far from it, we are as dedicated as ever to making sure Texans can access their right to abortion care. The Austin city budget amendment represents the kind of bold, creative resistance that we need in the face of attacks on abortion. We aren’t distracted by a lawsuit designed to attract attention away from the real news here: local communities are fighting back against attacks on abortion access and we are winning.”

Statement from Fund Texas Choice Board of Directors President, Melissa Flores:

“Fund Texas Choice is proud of the leadership of our partners and the Austin City Council for taking a stance against the targeted attacks of the state and federal government. We believe it is the role of elected officials to show up for our communities and that includes support for Austinites seeking abortion. We are undeterred from seeking funding from the City.”

Statement from The Bridge Collective Core Member Amanda Bennett:

“This lawsuit is a clear attempt to intimidate people seeking abortions and those who support them. As a small, all-volunteer collective that provides rides to abortion appointments, we feel strongly about protecting the community’s access to reproductive services, which includes the peer-to-peer logistical support that we provide. We envision the city of Austin as a place where everyone who wants abortions has the support they need to access one, and the city’s funding is an important step towards this vision. We do not anticipate this lawsuit affecting our work in any meaningful way, and our volunteers will not be intimidated.”

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Lilith Fund, founded in 2001, provides financial assistance and emotional support while building community spaces for people who need abortions in Texas—unapologetically, with compassion and conviction. Lilith Fund operates a mostly volunteer-run hotline in order to provide direct financial assistance to people in the central and southern regions of Texas. Lilith Fund has provided grants to more than 10,000 people. Follow us @lilithfund.

The Bridge Collective was founded as a full-spectrum doula collective in 2012. We are an all-volunteer, non-hierarchical collective that provides transportation, accommodation, and abortion doula services to people seeking abortions in Central Texas. We strive to create a climate of reproductive autonomy and justice for all pregnant people. 

Fund Texas Choice helps Texans equitably access abortion through safe, confidential, and comprehensive travel services and practical support.