A group of anti-abortion marchers carry signs and balloons as they march to the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, April 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Texas has its own kind, too.
Several cities in the Longhorn State have declared themselves “sanctuary cities for the unborn.”
Therefore, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Rusk, Gary and Wells.
On Tuesday, the ACLU of Texas and ACLU National filed suit against ordinances which label clients Lilith Fund and Texas Equal Access Fund (TEA Fund) as criminal enterprises.
Here’s a bit of background, from each’s website…
We provide financial assistance and emotional support while building community spaces for people who need abortions in Texas—unapologetically, with compassion and conviction. Through organizing and movement-building, we foster a positive culture around abortion, strengthen people power, and fight for reproductive justice in and with our communities.
We dream of a reality where everyone has the agency, power, and resources to thrive in their communities. We envision a world where the full range of reproductive decisions are affirmed and accessible, people have the dignity of thriving wages, and we can all build and care for our families free from state-sanctioned violence or separation. In this world, all people have access to comprehensive healthcare—including abortion—and the opportunity to have a fulfilling sex life without shame or stigma.
Compassion: We lead from the heart and do our work with love, care, and compassion. We center the role of emotion and struggle within our humanity and create stigma-busting, judgement-free spaces for our callers, communities, and ourselves.
[We provide] financial assistance to people who need help paying for an abortion in northern Texas. We believe abortion should be safe, legal, and accessible to all who need it. We do the work to end abortion stigma and advocate for policies that expand abortion access.
As noted by The Texas Tribune, in 2019, the Waskom City Council passed an ordinance outlawing abortion and declared Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations “criminal organizations.”
Towns across the state followed suit. In all, 11 have declared themselves sanctuaries.
Statewide, abortion is prohibited after 20 weeks. But according to The Washington Post, pro-lifers fear an increase in procedures due to Louisiana’s stricter abortion laws sending women across state lines.
Regardless, as per a statement by ACLU of Texas staff attorney Anjali Salvador, the bans are illegal:
“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,” ACLU of Texas staff attorney Anjali Salvador said in a statement Tuesday.”
To Anjali, it’s about the guaranteed right to expression:
“Both organizations support people who need abortions and advocate for the right to access abortion. The lawsuit claims that the ordinances violate their rights to free expression and association protected under the First Amendment and, by designating them criminal, illegally impose punishment without a fair trial.”
It seems to me the abortion argument spins onward infinitely, because an actual discussion of its core will hardly be had. At center is a simple question: When do life or personhood begin? The ACLU isn’t addressing that, as people are due their liberties.
And so, the battle continues.
And in Texas, seven towns will go head-to-head with a liberties group which claims they have no liberty to pass the ordinances.
But don’t the ACLU wrong — the problem isn’t sanctuaries; some are worth fighting for:
Sanctuary cities have the right to uphold the rights of everyone regardless of their immigration status. It makes communities safer.
— ACLU (@ACLU) March 6, 2017
And on we go.
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