Abortion rights advocates gathered outside of Denton City Hall ahead of a city council meeting where the topic of reproductive rights was on the agenda.
Word spread quickly that the resolution, presented by Councilwoman Alison Maguire, would be discussed Tuesday night, and people showed up in large numbers. Hundreds of people came out to city hall before the meeting at a rally organized by OUTreach Denton, in support of abortion rights.
After 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, the resolution passed in a 4 to 3 vote.
Maguire joined the rally before the meeting. The resolution said the City of Denton will affirm the rights of individuals to make private reproductive decisions and deprioritize the use of city resources for investigating or enforcing laws related to reproductive health care.
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Public comment on this one agenda item went on for almost two hours for and against this resolution. Chambers were full inside as the rally continued outside.
“When it specifically states that there’s going to be a deprioritization of resources to investigate or enforce the law is very alarming to me,” said public speaker Nathan Goldsmith. “I do believe in the sanctity of law and law at conception, and I would like for this to be nays across the board.”
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“These are my choices. It’s not your choice to decide what a woman does with her body,” said Shannon Murphy, another public comment speaker. “So, I am begging you to keep your minds open to this. This is a personal decision for all women. Please vote yes for this proposal.”
Public comment ended after 10:30 p.m. After several outbursts, there was a decision to break and reconvene at 10:55 p.m.
This was after council members Jesse Davis and Vickie Byrd were given time for public comment. Davis said he intended to vote ‘no’ while Byrd stated her intention to vote ‘yes’ for the resolution.