I can’t say that I was aware of Ellen Troxclair’s position on abortion. As a City Council member she has kept a pretty low profile on polarizing social issues.
The only thing I can think of is when she got into an argument with Greg Casar about increasing funding for deportation defense. But even in that case, but said that it was a very “emotional” issue on “both sides” and then (falsely) suggested that Austin’s “sanctuary” policy meant that people accused of serious crimes were being let out scot-free simply because they were undocumented.
Her remarks on abortion Thursday were similar, in that she didn’t state her position on the issue as much as expressed solidarity for those who are anti-abortion and use language that strongly suggests she opposes abortion.
Council Member Ellen Troxclair, the lone conservative left on the dais, thanked Hudgens for speaking to a crowd that she knew would not be receptive. “It’s brave and it’s hard,” said Troxclair. Flannigan responded: “There is a difference between disagreeing with the Council and seeking to eliminate people’s civil rights. We should not and cannot in this moment in this nation equivocate those two things,” he said. This was not about somebody who disagreed with him about land use or taxation, but a group that “sees some of us on this dais as less than human.” Troxclair issued one final defense, saying that she didn’t hear Hudgens say anything about “those things” that Flannigan was referencing. “She was talking about abortion, about the killing of unborn children. I think that’s a very legitimate debate that we have in this city, in this state, in this country.” The item passed 10-1, with only Troxclair in dissent.
I also noticed that one of Troxclair’s aides was sitting with the folks from Texas Values, the Christian Right group that came to oppose the city leasing land to Planned Parenthood. If you want to have a career as a Republican in Texas politics, it’s good to have those groups on your side. I wonder if we’ll be seeing Troxclair run for the lege –– maybe even Congress –- one of these years.
Delia Garza also shared some interesting thoughts on the issue, drawing on her personal (and recent) experience being pregnant without health insurance.
“I found out I was pregnant. Planned Parenthood provided much needed care for me until I was able to be a Council member and get city of Austin health insurance, I’m healthy and my beautiful baby girl is healthy because of services like Planned Parenthood.”