The small Texas town of Mineral Wells has no abortion clinics, but when mayor Christopher Perricone heard about Waskom, Texas—another Texas town with no abortion clinics that recently passed an ordinance to declare itself “a sanctuary city for the unborn”—he decided Mineral Wells should do the same.
Like the draconian heartbeat bills and the FDA’s vague threats at telemedicine groups that specialize in medication abortion, local municipalities declaring themselves “sanctuary cities” is another way to making abortion inaccessible. In addition to Waskom and Mineral Wells, a few other cities have also entertained resolutions similar resolutions. In March, Roswell, New Mexico passed a resolution “supporting the unborn,” and in June, anti-abortion activists pressured the Raleigh, North Carolina city council to declare their city a “sanctuary for the unborn.” Though these cities (with the exception of Raleigh) are small towns, the strategy is a potent reminder of the vulnerability of abortion rights, especially right now. When Waskom’s all-male city council passed their ordinance, both the mayor and the city attorney suspected it would likely be challenged in the court.
That’s exactly what pastor Mark Lee Dickson—the head of Right to Life East Texas who also helped pass the Waskom city ordinance—wants. Passing an ordinance that laughs in the face of abortion’s constitutionality, could create a legal scuffle that goes all the way up to the Supreme Court. “Abortion is a great evil of our day and abortion should be abolished,” Dickson told local news station WFAA. “We want to see it outlawed not just in Waskom but in every single city. Not just Texas, but the entire United States.”
Perricone is planning to present his plan to Mineral Wells’s city council on Tuesday, where he hopes everyone can “have a candid discussion” and “cordially come to the same conclusion I’ve come to from reading God’s word and seeing life from conception.”