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'The ramifications truly could be life or death': Waco councilwoman asks for consideration of the GRACE Act

After the right to abortions was restricted by Texas legislation, city councilwoman Kelly Palmer is pushing back.

WACO, Texas — One Waco councilwoman is taking a stand days before the Texas abortion trigger ban comes into effect. 

During Tuesday nights city council meeting, Waco councilwoman, Kelly Palmer of District Four asked that the GRACE Act be added to the agenda. 

"Waco has a responsibility to protect our residents and be really thoughtful about how we utilize our city resources since we have so many strategic goals that we want to make momentum on," Palmer said.

The GRACE Act stands for "Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone". This act would ban city funds from being used toward investigating reports of abortion and would have police departments de-prioritize the criminalization of abortion. 

As a female herself, Palmer understands the complexity of this issue and feels a responsibility to protect her community. 

"In the last couple of weeks, I've especially been talking to OBGYN and physicians and our communities that are serving low income residents," Palmer said. "Hearing the fear they have both as medical providers and also knowing the lives of their patients and clients made me feel like I have a responsibility to play as an elected official."

On June 24, 2022 the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. It was a dark day for Palmer and a time she will never forget. 

"I was devastated thinking about the impact this has on residents like mine in District 4 that are overwhelmingly working class and BIPOC folks," Palmer said. "This can completely change the trajectory of someone's life."

Last year, Texas lawmakers passed a trigger ban that is set to take effect on July 23, 2022. With Roe v. Wade overturned, the law would criminalize anyone who performs an abortion.

"I mean, I think the ramifications truly could be life or death," Palmer said. 

Across the state, the GRACE Act has been passed by city councils in Denton, Texas and most recently – Austin. 

"This wasn't intended to be a big political statement more so just a protection and love and deep affection for my neighbors," Palmer said. 

Waco could be next. 

RELATED: Waco pro-choice activists rally at McLennan County Courthouse

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