Texas Town Declares Itself a ‘Sanctuary for the Unborn,’ Outlaws Abortion in Local Limits

August 4, 2020 Updated: August 4, 2020

Yet another tiny town in east Texas has taken the bold step of outlawing abortion.

Although largely a symbolic act, the town of East Mountain has mustered the full force of the law to ban abortion providers from performing their services within town limits.

On the night of July 20, the community, with a population of just 797, declared itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn” and asserted the legal position that abortion was unconstitutional.

Abortion providers are unlikely to be affected, though. East Mountain is located between U.S. Highways 271 and 259, just north of Longview, and there are no abortion clinics even close to its vicinity, KETK reported.

Yet, the community now joins a growing list of Texas cities and towns to have banned the controversial practice, and it follows in the footsteps of Waskom, a small city in east Texas with a population of about 2,000. Waskom is the first known city in the United States to make such a declaration.

The basis for the ordinance asserts Roe v. Wade and other laws permitting abortion “to be unconstitutional usurpations of judicial power, which violate both the Tenth Amendment the Republican Form of Government Clause, and are null and void in the City of Waskom.”

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(Illustration – Mikael Damkier/Shutterstock)

The Tenth Amendment cites that powers not granted to the federal government, and not withheld from the states, are left in the hands of the states or the people at large, and this implies the document does not explicitly designate abortion to anyone.

Other eastern cities to have passed similar laws include Naples, Gary, Joaquin, Tenaha, Rusk, Gilmer, and Wells.

In February 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union sued several of these communities, stating that “These ordinances are unconstitutional. Abortion is legal in every state and city in the country, and cities cannot punish pro-abortion organizations for carrying out their important work—especially when they do so in a way that violates their First Amendment rights.”

With the onset of the pandemic, however, the lawsuits were dropped.

Mark Lee Dickson, an east Texas pastor and activist from Right to Life, called the result “a total and complete victory for the cities that have enacted these ordinances.” He denounced the lawsuit as “nothing but a publicity stunt to deter other cities from creating sanctuaries for the unborn.”

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