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Monday June 24, 2024

Texas towns try to close roads to abortion-seekers

By AFP
June 10, 2024
A representational image showing pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators gather outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. — AFP/File
A representational image showing pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators gather outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. — AFP/File

AMARILLO, United States: Abortion is illegal statewide in Texas, but residents in the city of Amarillo want to go a step further -- banning even the use of the city´s roads by people seeking the procedure elsewhere.

Dismissed as grandstanding and extremist by critics, such laws are legally dubious and almost impossible to enforce -- yet that hasn´t stopped their proliferation across conservative locales in the United States.

The highways passing through Amarillo connect Republican-led Texas with New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas, where abortion is still legal.

“We´re experiencing all these horrors, like abortion trafficking,” Mark Lee Dickson, the founder of the group Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn, told AFP.

The term “sanctuary city” typically refers to liberal towns that offer certain protections for undocumented immigrants -- but is increasingly being used by conservatives seeking to restrict abortion rights at the local level.

Some cities have voted to outlaw abortion within city limits, even if the state they´re located in already prohibits the procedure.

Such is the fractured landscape in the United States since a 2022 Supreme Court decision overturned the federal right to an abortion, leaving individual states to draw up their own regulations.

Conservative Texas, the country´s second-most populous state, has one of the strictest bans, with no exceptions for rape or incest.