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‘Sanctuary city for the unborn’. All-male council bans abortion in Texas town

The all-male City Council in Waskom, Texas, passed an ordinance to ban abortions. Screengrab from KETK.
The all-male City Council in Waskom, Texas, passed an ordinance to ban abortions. Screengrab from KETK.

There aren’t any abortion clinics in the small community of Waskom, Texas.

That didn’t stop its all-male City Council from passing a ban Tuesday -- despite warnings from the mayor that a losing lawsuit will be unaffordable for the city of 2,200 near the Louisiana border, according to East Texas TV station KETK. The city attorney also said the ban won’t pass constitutional muster, KETK reported.

Still, the town is claiming itself to be the “sanctuary city for the unborn,” KTAL reported.

Fears that the “fetal heartbeat bill” passed recently in Louisiana could drive abortion providers across the border into Texas prompted the vote, according to KSLA.

“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,” Mark Lee Dickson, director of East Texas Right to Life, told KTAL.

The five men on the City Council apparently agreed, unanimously passing the ordinance, media outlets reported.

In Texas, abortion is illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and women are required to undergo counseling, wait periods and an ultrasound, according to INSIDER.

Abortion-rights advocates condemned the ordinance.

“The Waskom ordinance is a dangerous attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade and disregards the fact that the majority of Texans believe abortion should remain legal,” NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Aimee Arrambide told INSIDER.

“Jane Roe” in 1973's Roe v. Wade case was a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey of Texas. At that time, abortion was outlawed in Texas except in rare cases.

Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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