HomePoliticsTexas anti-abortion transport bans spark fierce battle as controversy spreads across major...

Texas anti-abortion transport bans spark fierce battle as controversy spreads across major battlegrounds.

Texas Jurisdictions Consider Bans on Abortion Transportation

Conservative activists seek to further restrict abortion by outlawing transportation for the procedure

Two Texas jurisdictions are set to consider measures that would ban the act of transporting individuals for abortions, as part of a broader strategy to limit access to abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Lubbock County commissioners will vote on the proposal on Monday, while the Amarillo City Council will evaluate its own law on Tuesday, which could lead to a future city-wide vote.

- Advertisement -

Lubbock and Amarillo are two of the largest jurisdictions among the ten places in Texas that have considered restrictions on abortion-related transportation since the end of Roe in June 2022. So far, five cities and counties have passed such bans.

Both Lubbock and Amarillo are located along major highways that connect Texas, which has strict abortion laws, to neighboring New Mexico, where abortion is legal.

Proponents of the bans argue that they strengthen Texas’ existing abortion ban, which allows private citizens to sue anyone who provides or aids in an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

- Advertisement -

Reproductive rights advocates express concerns

Opponents of the bans, including advocates for reproductive rights, argue that the measures could discourage people from seeking abortions or assisting others in obtaining them, even though enforcement remains unclear. No violations have been reported in the jurisdictions that have already implemented similar bans, making them difficult to challenge in court.

However, the impact of these ordinances appears to extend beyond their immediate enforcement. Both sides are using them to mobilize voters and pursue their political goals in the lead-up to the next election.

Conservative activists driving the bans

Mark Lee Dickson, a Christian pastor, initiated the campaign to outlaw abortion-related transportation in Texas. Since 2019, Dickson has been urging communities to declare themselves “sanctuary cities for the unborn.” He travels extensively to promote his measures and supports candidates who align with his far-right policies.

In 2022, after the council initially rejected one of Dickson’s proposals, he rallied support for council candidates who pledged to approve it in Odessa’s city elections. These candidates not only declared Odessa a “sanctuary city,” but also implemented the state’s first abortion transport ban and rejected state and federal COVID-19 mandates.

Debates spark increased support for abortion access

The discussions surrounding these transport bans have also spurred greater support for abortion access. Kimberleigh Gonzalez, organizing a local Facebook group of 1,100 reproductive rights supporters in Lubbock County, intends to demonstrate their opposition to the ban at the upcoming meeting. She believes that each attack on reproductive rights brings advocates closer together, fostering a stronger movement.

Abortion rights supporters, including four abortion funds in Texas, anticipate that the transport bans will backfire on the anti-abortion movement by mobilizing political participation from advocates in the upcoming presidential election.

As the battle over abortion rights continues, it remains to be seen how these proposed transport bans will shape the future of reproductive healthcare in Texas.

Must Read