In rural Texas, a pro-life billboard advertisement was taken down just 24 hours after it was put up because the landowner of the location where the billboard stood received death threats. The billboard had the simple message, "62 million and counting. IgnoreRoe.com" and was put up by a group of pro-life Christians called Abolish Abortion Texas (AATX).
The group also took to Twitter on Tuesday to share that the billboard "went up today in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. Be sure to go to IgnoreRoe.com and sign the petition!" On Monday, the billboard was set up just outside Boyd, Texas to spread hte word to "ignore" the the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade, which legalized the access to abortion nationwide, the Christian Headlines reported.
— Abolish Abortion TX (@AATXNow) August 10, 2021
However, the sign was removed just a day later after the landowner of the area where the billboard was located received "complaints" and "death threats" which "forced the advertising company to remove" the billboard. It is unclear how many complaints or how the death threats were issued to the landowner.
According to Jon Speed, the fund coordinator of the pro-life campaign, the incident was proof of "how intolerant Texas has become." Speed, who is also a pastor of missions and evangelism at the First Baptist Church of Briar in Azle, Texas, argued to Faithwire that the billboard did not contain "graphic images" and had "not even a strong statement." Instead, it only had one website address that spoke out about abolishing abortion in Texas.
"The fact that this happened in rural Texas is not only surprising in a self-professed pro-life state, it indicates how weak that commitment is," Speed alleged. The preacher also cast doubt upon Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his commitment to the pro-life advocacy, especially after the governor signed a "trigger bill" that will set in motion a slew of abortion restrictions in the event the Supreme Court would overthrow Roe v. Wade. But Speed is not convinced that Gov. Abbott and other conservative lawmakers would stand by these legislations.
"The conservative nature of Texas is really an illusion when you can have people that call in and make those kinds of complaints and have a billboard taken down," Speed said in a YouTube video. "Don't be deceived by big splashes in the media about what Texas is going to say they're going to do, because if you can't even get this to stand in Texas, I don't believe it."
According to the Texas Tribune, the state's "fetal heartbeat" law will take effect on September 1 and is considered as "one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation." This measure will prohibit abortions if an ultrasound detects what lawmakers defined as a "fetal heartbeat," which can sometimes appear as early as six weeks of pregnancy, a time which most women are yet unaware that they are with child.
According to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most abortions don't happen this early. In fact, in Texas, the limit is currently set at 20 weeks into a pregnancy, a figure that will change beginning September 1.