Travis County DA says to seek necessary medical attention despite law

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“Our communities are safer when women and families can make personal health care and reproductive decisions without the threat of interference,” said DA José Garza.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza responds to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and discusses what will happen in Travis County once the state’s abortion “trigger law” goes into effect.

The “trigger law” bans abortions in Texas 30 days after the Supreme Court issued a formal judgment on Roe v. Wade. On Friday, the court issued an opinion quashing the landmark case, effectively ending the constitutional right to abortion.

“Making abortion illegal will not end abortions; it will simply end safe abortions for too many,” Garza said in a statement Friday. “Threatening women who seek abortion services and their medical providers with lawsuits will only drive women to seek dangerous alternatives and avoid necessary medical care, leading to higher rates of preventable maternal deaths.”

Garza said protecting the community is “the number one responsibility and job of any district attorney.” He also said he and his office would not prosecute abortion-related cases.

“Our communities are safer when women and families can make personal health care and reproductive decisions without the threat of state interference,” Garza said during a press conference In Monday. “We won’t force women into the shadows, especially when they need life-saving medical care here in Travis County. We won’t criminalize personal health care decisions. If you need medical assistance, I implore you to seek it.”

“We have been incredibly clear over the past few weeks that we will not prosecute people who request abortions or people who provide abortion services,” Garza said later at the press conference. “The role of the prosecutor is to ensure that justice is done. That is the statutory role of the prosecutor. And that means that in each case our duty is not to prosecute but to ensure a just outcome.”

During the press conference, Erin Martinson, Director of the Special Victims Division of the Prosecutor’s Office, shared some statistics to illustrate the office’s position on the High Court decision.

“One in three women in our communities will experience domestic and sexual violence in her lifetime. Of these women, 5% will become pregnant after their assault. And research shows that violence increases in severity and frequency when a woman is pregnant,” Martinson said. “The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when she tries to leave her abuser. And you can imagine that violence during pregnancy has devastating effects on maternal health. And now 100% of victims in Texas do not have access to safe abortions.”

Later in the press conference, Martinson promised that the prosecutor’s office would continue to fight for the victims.

“To all the women listening and watching today, we see you. We know you feel helpless and helpless. Rest assured that we will not prosecute you for making decisions about safety and for stopping suffering from carry a child conceived in rage,” Martinson said. “We will continue to do everything we can to help you fight back, to help you find safety, because you deserve to be treated with dignity. You deserve to be able to make the best decisions for you and your body. And you deserve to live without violence.”

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