Following the lead of Roswell, NM, the East Texas city of Waskom has declared itself to be a sanctuary city for preborn human beings — the first city in Texas to do so.
Waskom’s five city council members voted unanimously on Tuesday night to a packed house of community members to declare Waskom a sanctuary city for preborn babies and to outlaw abortion within the city’s corporate limits. Mark Dickson of Right to Life East Texas said he worked together with the city council members after Lousiana passed a law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks gestation. The Louisiana law will not go into effect, however, unless Mississippi’s similar law — which was blocked by a U.S. district judge — also goes into effect. In that event, this preemptive move by Waskom will help keep an abortion facility from moving across the border from Louisiana into their city.
“Right to Life approached us because the abortion laws are changing in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi that the abortion clinics may start moving to Texas,” Waskom Mayor Jesse Moore told Longview News-Journal. “With Waskom being the first city, 18 miles from Louisiana, they were anticipating one moving here.”
The ordinance states that a person who commits an abortion, except in cases of danger to the mother’s health or rape or incest, will be liable to any surviving relative, excluding the mother, for compensatory damages, punitive damages, and costs and attorneys’ fees.
Mayor Moore warned the citizens of Waskom, which has a population of just under 2,200, that outlawing abortion in the city could lead to a lawsuit, but regardless, the final vote to approve the resolution and ordinance was met with cheers.
“Tuesday night was a great victory for life,” said Dickson. “The City Council’s vote has had a ripple effect across the state, and people everywhere have been reaching out wanting to know how they can follow in the footsteps of Waskom, Texas, and outlaw abortion in their city.”
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