Following nationwide controversy over new laws being passed by several states banning abortions, a small town in Texas passed its own ordinance, despite the state’s lack of action joining suit in passing so-called heartbeat bills. The city council of Waskom voted unanimously to ban abortion within city limits. In doing so, council members hope to create “a sanctuary city for the unborn.”
Waskom, Texas is situated near the border with Louisiana, a state which just passed an abortion bill banning most abortions after six weeks. There are currently no facilities in Waskom that perform abortions but, following Louisiana’s passage of its abortion bill, officials grew concerned that outsiders may attempt to open a clinic within its city limits. The all-male council voted for preventative measures in order to avoid abortions providers from operating in Waskom.
Despite warnings from the mayor and attorneys that passing such an ordinance was unconstitutional and possibly costly should it be challenged, the council voted unanimously to ban abortions from being performed. Exceptions for rape, incest and medical emergency were made.
Pro-life activists lobbied Waskom’s city council after describing frustration over the state of Texas not passing its own similar laws. The city ordinance refers to the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that legalized abortion as “unconstitutional usurpations of judicial power.” The ordinance was well-received by many among Waskom’s roughly 2,220 people population.