Five men outlaw abortion in a Texas town, declaring a ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’

Five men this week declared a small city in east Texas a ‘‘sanctuary city for the unborn,’’ commandeering the language of the movement for immigrant rights to counter women’s reproductive freedom.

There are no abortion clinics in Waskom, Texas, a city of about 2,200, which lies on the border with Louisiana. But the all-male, all-white City Council decided unanimously Tuesday that prohibiting abortion was necessary.

The municipal prohibition, which plainly contradicts the judgments of the US Supreme Court, joins statewide bans on abortion sweeping the country in the wake of the solidification of a conservative majority on the nation’s top court. In Texas, abortion has already been banned after 20 weeks. Now in the state, a bill awaiting the governor’s signature would require doctors to treat ‘‘a child born alive after an abortion,’’ which happens rarely.


The city’s legislation was modeled on a measure embraced 7-to-1 in March by the city council of Roswell, N.M. Roswell’s move to declare its support for ‘‘fetal life’’ was accompanied by a measure characterizing itself as a ‘‘Second Amendment Sanctuary City,’’ in opposition to legislation advanced by the state legislature that expands background checks for private gun sales.

Washington Post