The all-male, five-member city council in Waskom, Texas, unanimously passed an ordinance to prohibit abortion in its jurisdiction, turning the town into a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
The new ordinance declared laws allowing abortion “to be unconstitutional usurpations of judicial power,” with an exception in the case of rape, incest, or critical risks to the mother’s life.
Waskom, located at the Texas-Louisiana border, doesn’t have abortion providers within the city’s boundaries.
The council decided to prohibit abortion in the town to ensure no abortion clinics open in the city.
Mark Lee Dickson, the director of East Texas Right for Life, an organization that prohibits abortion, said that there are new concerns that the restrictive new “heartbeat bill” passed in Louisiana could drive abortion providers across the border.
This would lead women to travel to other regions to get the service, although abortion prohibiting laws are being voted in most states across the country.
“Standing for Life”
The new bill awaiting governor’s signature into law would require doctors to treat “a child born alive after an abortion,” an incidence that happens rarely.
Mark Lee Dickson said:
“We decided to take things into our own hands and that we have got to do something to protect our cities and to protect the unborn children.”
The new ordinance also considers groups and health facilities that offer abortion services as “criminal organization.”
Before the final vote of the bill, Mayor Jesse Moore warned other council members that Waskom could be sued if the bill is passed. But the residents showed their continued support to the ordinance despite the threats arguing that “God will take care of them.”
“We Will Not Be Intimidated”
NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director, Aimee Arrambide, said in a statement in response to the ordinance:
“Every Texan, regardless of income or geographical location, deserves access to the full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion. The Waskom ordinance is a dangerous attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade and disregards the fact that the majority of Texans believe abortion should remain legal.”
“We will not be intimidated. At a time when the fundamental freedoms under Roe are under attack, we recommit ourselves to expanding and protecting these rights for all Texans.”
A similar resolution was passed in March in Roswell, New Mexico. The city council declared its “support for the unborn” and pledging to protect “fetal life.”
So far, about 30 states in the US have introduced laws banning abortion in their jurisdiction.
Such states include Louisiana and Georgia, which prohibits abortion once the heartbeat is formed and can be detected, that’s around six-weeks into pregnancy.
Alabama lawmakers also voted a bill to outlaw abortion outright in May. Other states prohibiting abortion include Maine, New York, Vermont, and Nevada, among others.