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WEATHERFORD, Texas, May 24, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has threatened legal action against a Texas sheriff, claiming he violated an inmate’s constitutional “right” to an abortion by refusing to transport her to an abortion clinic.
Sheriff Larry Fowler, however, said he would not use taxpayer funds to facilitate the deed.
“My personal feeling is I don’t feel like the taxpayers of Parker County would think much of their sheriff spending taxpayer money to take people to abortion clinics,” Fowler told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“I don’t think they would want me to even entertain that notion.”
Lisa Graybill of the ACLU Foundation of Texas said that court precedent has established the “constitutional right of incarcerated pregnant women to access abortion care,” in a letter to Parker County Attorney John Forrest. She also said that the woman’s family had arranged the appointment and was going to pay for the abortion.
Sheriff Fowler said, however, that the woman could have simply posted bond and gone to the abortion mill by herself. The county attorney John Forrest also stated that Fowler was following the law.
The ACLU is not going to sue, as the woman was recently released on probation and obtained an abortion without government assistance; however, Graybill threatened legal action should a similar incident occur.
“The purpose of our letter [to John Forrest] is to put Parker County on notice that any future restrictions on women’s reproductive health care will be challenged in court,”said Graybill in a statement.
In October, an Arizona judge sided with the ACLU to forbid Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio from charging female inmates transportation costs for obtaining abortions – even though the sheriff charged transportation for other medical procedures – due to a constitutional “right” to abortion. Arpaio’s office at the time said he planned to appeal the ruling.