WASKOM, TEXAS (KLTV) - The man who led an imitative to outlaw abortion in an East Texas city says he’s in talks with other cities to do the same.
Mark Lee Dickson is the director for Longview-based Right to Life East Texas. The action taken this week by the Waskom city council started with Dickson expressing fear of an abortion clinic coming to town after Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
“I was reminded in the early 1990s that an abortion clinic by the name of Hope Medical Group for Women at one time had plans to move to Waskom if abortion ever shutdown in Louisiana, and so I was thinking, man, our cities are vulnerable," Dickson said.
The city’s news ordinance calls for a fine of up to $2,000 for anyone providing an abortion in the city. Those penalties would only be enforced if Roe V Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to our sister station KSLA.
“There is no right to abortion in the constitution,” Dickson said. “It is time for our cities to really stand up and believe in that constitution that all people have that right to life.”
Dickson says the ordinance does make exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother. He says since Tuesday’s vote, he’s been contacted by both residents and officials from cities across East Texas and the country.
“There have been some people raising questions of interest and I don’t want to give their cards too soon," Dickson said. "But there are city council members that have expressed interest in doing something in their city.”
The American Civil Liberties Union says the ordinance demonstrates a lack of concern for citizen’s health. A statement reads in part, "the ability to access contraception and abortion care is critical to people’s health and dignity. No one’s access to health care should depend on where they live.”