Weeks after a small East Texas town banned abortion and declared itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn,” abortion rights groups are reminding the citizens of Waskom the procedure is legal by erecting billboards in town reading “Abortion is Freedom.”
Waskom’s all-male city council voted unanimously last month to prohibit abortions, although the town does not have any abortion clinics. The nearest clinic is across the border in Shreveport, La., 30 minutes away. Waskom officials worry a new Louisiana law banning abortions once a heartbeat is detected — which happens before many women know they are pregnant — could push clinics to relocate in Texas.
The Waskom abortion ban is likely to be challenged in court as unconstitutional. It would be one of many bans from cities and states destined for the courts as anti-abortion activists try to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to take on cases that could unravel the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which protects a woman’s right to choose whether to end her pregnancy.
The billboards were put up last week ahead of Independence Day and sit on I-20, a highway that slices through the town of roughly 2,200 people. The billboards direct people to needabortion.org to learn where they can get an abortion in Texas and how they can get help. The signs are part of the Know Your Rights campaign founded in 2015 when abortion clinics closed due to abortion regulations that would later be found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lest we forget:
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
— George Orwell, 1984