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Austin Passes Revised Pregnancy Center Law

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At today’s City Council meeting, an ordinance requiring disclaimers at pregnancy centers was repealed. Pregnancy centers are religiously-motivated establishments that test for pregnancy but don’t provide abortions or refer to abortion providers.

But moments later, council approved a revised version of the ordinance, one they felt was on firmer legal ground.

Both measures passed on a unanimous, 6-0 vote (with Mayor Lee Leffingwell out of town for today’s meeting).

As we previously reported, the ordinance the council passed in 2010 required disclaimers at pregnancy centers stating they did not provide abortions, birth control, or medical devices.

The ordinance approved today requires pregnancy centers to post signs stating “whether the center has a licensed health care provider or practitioner directly supervising all medical services; and whether the center is licensed or regulated by a state or federal regulatory entity to provide medical services."

As for some other items we were watching: Council approved a $100 fee taxi drivers can charge customers who get sick in their cab. It was one of two taxi-related items on the agenda.

The other item would allow taxis to charge a flat, $2.50 “peak hour surcharge” in the evening and early morning hours. Council changed the fee to make it $1 per passenger and passed the resolution on first reading only, meaning it will return to the council for final approval at a later meeting. 

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