By Peter Dawson
One East Texas town has made itself a "sanctuary" city, co-opting the language of immigrant activists to fight for a different kind of cause.
Earlier this week, a five-person city council composed entirely of men, approved a city ordinance that makes Waskom, Tex., a "sanctuary city for the unborn."
The town, which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, has fewer than 2,300 residents, is located right next to the Texas-Louisiana border (roughly 28 miles west of Shreveport).
So, how did the law allow for this to happen?
The city council in Roswell, New Mexico provided a blueprint with a measure that declared itself a "Second Amendment Sanctuary City." Roswell's ordinance contrasted with the state's decision to push through legislation that requires a background check for individuals involved in the private sale of a gun.
Reports indicate Waskom does not have any abortion clinics, but the five men decided on this municipal prohibition to make sure that one never opens in the town.
The decision could lead to potential lawsuits and the cost of those lawsuits on the town's taxpayers could be very high. However, that prospect did not concern some residents, who told several members of the local media "God will take care of them."
The town's declaration stands directly in opposition to previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings (primarily the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion a constitutional right).
However, the now-conservative leaning U.S. Supreme Court seems to have emboldened several statewide bans on abortion.
Currently, there is a bill awaiting the governor's signature in Austin. One that would require doctors to treat "a child born alive after an abortion." Abortion has already been banned after 20 weeks in Texas. The most recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (in 2015) said that "only about 1.3 percent of abortions in the United States in 2015 were performed in or after the 21st week of pregnancy."
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