A small Texas town just became a “sanctuary city,” but not for those illegally crossing the borders of the United States.
Waskom, Texas just declared itself a haven for the unborn with its five-member city council unanimously voting on Tuesday to ban abortions in the city.
The small town on the Texas-Louisiana border declared itself a “sanctuary city of the unborn,” deciding that pro-choice laws are unconstitutional and taking an offensive position to prevent abortion clinics from opening within the city which currently has none, according to KETK.
The first city in Texas to make such a move, Waskom’s ordinance announced that pro-abortion laws like Roe vs. Wade are “unconstitutional usurpations of judicial power, which violate both the Tenth Amendment the Republican Form of Government Clause, and are null and void in the City of Waskom.”
It also noted that organizations that perform or assist in obtaining abortions, such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, and others are “criminal organizations.”
While the vote before a packed house on Tuesday was unanimous, Mayor Jesse Moore warned that lawsuits are imminent.
“Most likely we will end up getting sued if this passes,” Moore said, according to ArkLaTexHomepage.com. “It could go to the Supreme Court.”
The city attorney also warned that the ordinance is basically unconstitutional while supporters feel the measure is important to keep those seeking abortions from crossing the border into the Texas town to get one. Waskom, with a population of about 2,200, is 20 miles west of Shreveport, Louisiana and that state’s so-called “fetal heartbeat bill” prompted city officials to act.
Louisiana’s passage of the bill banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected may cause abortion clinics in the state to shut down, Mark Lee Dickson, director of the anti-abortion group East Texas Right to Life, said. The fear that those clinics will want to open up across the border in Texas is what fueled the move to declare Waskom a “sanctuary city.”
“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,” Dickson told KETK.
Dickson presented the measure to the city council after becoming frustrated that elected state officials in the capital of Austin were not passing any “meaningful legislation that protects unborn life,” according to Fox News.
“This is why we had to take things into our own hands and take it to the grassroots level,” Dickson told Fox News. “Due to the recent pro-life legislation in Louisiana being so strong and due to the risk of an abortion clinic one day moving to Waskom, Texas, we decided to do something to protect the city, which was passing an ordinance outlawing abortion in Waskom, Texas.”
A resolution in Roswell, New Mexico declaring it a “sanctuary city for the unborn” provided the model for Waskom’s ordinance, though the Texas town went further by banning abortions within city limits. The measure, which was passed by a city council made up of five men, included exceptions for rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger.
Supporters hope the effort catapults the issue to the Supreme Court where it could challenge the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision giving women the right to an abortion.
Rusty Thomas, the national director of the Christian conservative group, Operation Save America, spoke at a right to life rally with the First Baptist Church of Waskom just days before the passing of the ordinance, Fox News reported.
“What city, what county, what state, is saying to the federal government, ‘here, we will no longer murder our babies?'” he said. “Hey, Washington, D.C., you can do whatever you want to do. For this town, we’re saying no babies will be aborted. Not under our watch.”
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