Pro-choice billboards erected outside Texas town that declared itself 'sanctuary city for the unborn'

Pro-choice billboards erected outside Texas town that declared itself 'sanctuary city for the unborn'
© ABC 7 KLTV

Two pro-choice billboards outside a small town in Texas were put up this month after the all-male city council passed an ordinance declaring it a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”

The billboards, funded by abortion rights activists from Austin, read “Abortion is freedom” and include a website that has information on abortion services in Texas and nearby, according to the Washington Post.

The billboards follow the all-male city council of Waskom, Texas, voting unanimously last month to pass the ordinance.

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Waskom does not currently have an abortion provider within city limits, so the ordinance is largely preventative. It prevents any abortion clinics from opening in the city.

Delma Catalina Limones, the communications manager for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, a group that helped fund the billboards, said they did not contact anyone in Waskom before putting the billboards up. Though she added people have “reached out to thank us” since the billboards were erected.

Jayna Lay, a resident of Waskom, told The Post she supports the ordinance and is unhappy and outside group put the billboard near town.

“I think they did it to take a dig at Waskom,” she said. “They send the wrong message in my opinion. ‘Abortion is freedom,’ that’s a messed up phrase. That’s pretty much saying, ‘Kill your children and you’re free.’ That’s crazy to me.”

She said the ordinance passing drew controversy, but Waskom is unlikely to have an abortion provider anyways.

“I would never see Waskom having an abortion clinic anyway; it’s such a small town full of churches,” Lay told The Post.

The town’s mayor Jesse Moore told The Post that there is no longer discussion surrounding abortion clinics in Waskom.

“We have no intentions whatsoever to go [head] to head with anybody who opposes it,” he said. “As far as I am concerned, we are done with the abortion clinic issue.”

After the ordinance passed last month, Moore acknowledged the town could be the subject of a lawsuit.

"Most likely we will end up getting sued if this passes," he said, adding that the ordinance could go to the Supreme Court."

The ordinance's passage followed amid a spate of Republican state legislatures passing bills seeking to restrict abortion access, including neighboring Louisiana.

A billboard in Colorado that went up recently welcomed people to the state “where you can get a safe, legal abortion” after neighboring Utah passed a law restricting abortion access.