Following a city council decision to ban abortion in Waskom, Texas, the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity and NARAL Pro-Choice Texas announced a billboard campaign in response. The billboards, positioned off of Interstate 20, went up just before Independence Day weekend.
They make a simple declaration: “Abortion is Freedom.”
The billboards were coordinated by the NeedAbortion.org campaign in Texas, which provides aid to women, and pregnant women in particular, by educating Texans on their right to abortion and the easiest ways to access it. The website is part of the Know Your Rights campaign that launched in 2015, when the draconian anti-abortion bill HB 2 forced countless clinics across the state to close.
“We want every Texan, especially those in East Texas, to know that abortion is still legal,” NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Aimee Arrambide said in a statement. “This billboard is our way of educating East Texans about their rights as well as letting extremist lawmakers know: Texans will not be intimidated. At a time when the fundamental freedoms under Roe v. Wade are under attack, we recommit ourselves to fighting to protect and expand the right to an abortion in Texas.”
The latest law restricting women’s reproductive rights, which was passed by five white men, prohibits abortion within the town of Waskom, which they have declared a “sanctuary city” for fetuses. (There were already no abortion clinics present in the town of just over 2,000 people, but the city council claims that the law was necessary as a preventative measure.)
“The Waskom City Council pulled a dangerous political stunt that was deliberately designed to shame and confuse patients seeking abortion care, and to intimidate abortion funds and advocacy organizations like ours,” Lilith Fund Executive Director Amanda Beatriz Williams said in a statement. “No matter what they do, we remain committed to making abortion care accessible in Texas and we won’t back down until all people have the rights, power, and resources they need to thrive.”