The city of Waskom, Texas, took a stand for life on Tuesday with the city council unanimously adopting a resolution and ordinance to ban abortion within city limits, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life.
The border city, with a population of approximately 2,200, has declared itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” Less than 20 miles from Shreveport, Louisiana, Waskom currently has no abortion clinics, but Louisiana’s recent abortion ban caused Waskom residents to take preventative measures to make sure abortion businesses don’t move across the border to set up shop.
“Right to Life approached us because the abortion laws are changing in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi [and] the abortion clinics may start moving to Texas,” said Waskom Mayor Jesse Moore.
“We decided to take things into our own hands, and we’ve got to do something to protect our cities and to protect the unborn children,” said Mark Lee Dickson, director of the Right to Life of East Texas.
The resolution declares “that all human life, including fetal life at every stage of gestation, must always be protected and that society must protect those that cannot protect themselves.” Texas law already bans abortion after 20 weeks, and a bill that would require doctors to treat a child born alive after a failed abortion is awaiting the governor’s signature.
According to The Washington Post, applause broke out in the city council chambers when all five of the local lawmakers raised their hands to signal approval of the resolution.
“The city council’s vote has had a ripple effect across the state,” Dickson told the News Messenger. “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.”
Franklin Graham commended the city, writing on Facebook June 20: “I applaud their goal and their boldness. Abortion is taking millions of lives every year and this needs to be changed. I hope that more cities will take the same stand to defend life.”
Waskom residents said they are unconcerned by the prospect of a costly legal fight over the abortion measure because God will take care of them.
The resolution is modeled after a pro-life resolution passed last March in the city of Roswell, New Mexico.
Rusty Thomas, the national director of Operation Save America, celebrated the passage of the resolution: “[We’re saying,] ‘Hey, Washington, D.C., you can do whatever you want to do. For this town, we’re saying no babies will be aborted. Not under our watch.’”
Story updated June 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.