During the Aug. 2 meeting of the San Marcos City Council, council members and the public learned from Chief of Public Safety Chase Stapp that the San Marcos Police Department will not devote resources to investigate abortions.

Stapp said in mid-July Police Chief Stan Standridge issued an administrative directive that states the police department will not investigate elective abortion-related crimes since the United States Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson this summer.

“Unless an abortion or attempted abortion causes the [loss of] life or serious injury of the expectant mother unrelated to a lawful medical medical procedure, [the police department will not proceed with investigations or charges],” Stapp said. “So this directive is already out there governing the actions of police department employees and the rest of this administrative director really just goes on to explain the complexities of what Texas law enforcement, what they're having to deal with right now as all this stuff gets sorted out at the state legislative level.”

Council Member Alysssa Garza asked several qualifying questions to get a better idea of the parameters of the directive.

“Let's say somebody gets pills from Mexico and they attempt to abort a fetus because of lack of resources, and they hemorrhage and end up in the hospital,” Garza said. “Do you then investigate and then criminalize their behavior?”

Stapp said that the behavior of the expectant mother is exempt in the directive as well as Texas state law.

Much of the discussion also centered around how to implement some of the policies of the Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone (GRACE) ACT—an ordinance passed by the Austin City Council July 21 to limit the enforcement of state abortion laws—within San Marcos.

“Austin has different resources than we do, so I wasn't expecting us to just fully adopt that item,” Council Member Maxfield Baker said. “Maybe working with area partners, ensuring that there is some education program out there kind of pushing or educating people about these opportunities, is really my intent [in] putting that in before council.”

While no action was taken, council held discussion of various other ways the city could take action and formed a council committee to explore the matter.