Abortion activists have targeted a small Texas town that recently declared itself a “sanctuary for the unborn” with a very visual message.
Two billboards reading “Abortion is freedom” have gone up in the city this month, funded in part by NARAL (National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) Pro-Choice Texas.
With no abortion providers within the city limits, Waskom passed a preventative bill last month ensuring that the small town would remain a haven for the unborn as its five-member city council unanimously voted to ban abortions.
But pro-abortion lobbyists sprang into action, erecting the signs on the edge of the town located near the Louisiana border, advertising the website “NeedAbortion.org,” and directing women to local services and information. The signs immediately sparked an outcry. The Washington Post reported that many of the local residents interviewed said they “resent more liberal parts of the state plastering their views on billboards in a largely conservative community.”
“We’ve got organizations based in Austin, Texas putting up signs in Waskom promoting this idea that abortion is to be glorified,” Mark Lee Dickson, director of the anti-abortion group East Texas Right to Life, told KETK-TV.
“I think they did it to take a dig at Waskom,” Waskom resident Jayna Lay told The Post. “They send the wrong message in my opinion. ‘Abortion is freedom,’ that’s a messed up phrase. That’s pretty much saying, ‘Kill your children and you’re free.’ That’s crazy to me.”
Passing the ordinance last month sparked some controversy, she added, but noted that the town with a population of about 2,200 will likely not ever see an abortion provider in its borders.
“The day before the meeting, Facebook exploded. But I would never see Waskom having an abortion clinic anyway; it’s such a small town full of churches,” Lay said.
The communications manager for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas countered that some residents were glad to see the signs.
“People reached out to thank us for them,” Delma Catalina Limones said, telling The Post that the group which helped pay for the billboards had not spoken with anyone in Waskom before the signs went up.
“We refuse to be intimidated, and we will continue to work to expand and protect abortion access in Texas,” Limones said.
But Waskom’s mayor is not interested in a fight and considers the issue closed.
“We have no intentions whatsoever to go [head] to head with anybody who opposes it,” Jesse Moore said. “As far as I am concerned, we are done with the abortion clinic issue.”
“I want to make clear that we passed that ordinance to keep abortion clinics out of Waskom,” he added. “I don’t like what they [the billboards] say, but they have got that right.”
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.”
TX city council takes matters into its own hands, votes to become ‘sanctuary city of the unborn’ https://t.co/EqKE1BbJh1
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 13, 2019
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.”
Moore admitted after the ordinance passed that the town could be the subject of lawsuits.
“Most likely we will end up getting sued if this passes,” he said, adding that it “could go to the Supreme Court.”
Abortion activists also leveled criticism at the all-male city council which voted on the ordinance last month, but residents dismissed the attempt to smear the small town’s leadership and residents’ support of the measure.
“The thing they don’t want to tell you is that 90 percent of the people at that meeting were female,” resident Erin Grable told the Post.
“They want to say we are letting men make our decisions. I think that’s ridiculous,” the 47-year-old added. “We are strong women in Texas; we know what we think and believe all by ourselves, and we will tell you.”
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