An Illinois county declared itself a “Sanctuary for Unborn Human Beings” this week to express its opposition to abortion.
Much in the same way several large, liberal cities have declared themselves “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants by not enforcing federal law, Effingham County leaders hope their county will be a place where unborn babies are protected from abortion.
On Monday in front of a large crowd, the county board approved the pro-life resolution with a strong majority, WCCU Illinois reports.
“… abortion in the United States has become a means of birth control in which the unborn are killed for the convenience of the parent(s),” the resolution reads. It condemns abortions except when the mother’s life is at risk.
James Niemann, the board chairman, said he wrote the resolution to direct the way the board considers future decisions related to abortion.
“Ordinances affect the public at large, resolutions effect the operations of the board of the county in general,” Niemann said. “So this is something that would affect the way the county looks at the questions that would come forward in the future.
“In Illinois, we have contradictory laws,” Niemann continued. “If you kill a pregnant woman, that’s two murders. However, if she has an abortion, it isn’t. It doesn’t make sense.”
The resolution is believed to be the first of its kind in America.
The Effingham Daily News reports hundreds of people attended the meeting to express their support or opposition to the resolution.
One was Vallory Kemme who lamented that nearly 1 million unborn babies are killed in abortions every year in the United States.
“Thank you so much for having the courage to bring up this sensitive topic and your efforts to protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers,” Kemme said. “There are few priorities higher than protecting innocent life, especially when that life is utterly defenseless.”
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Another local resident Shirley McEvans opposed the measure, saying the government should not “put their morals onto their citizens,” according to Illinois Homepage.
Others claimed the board was trying to impose religious beliefs on the community. Board member Karen Luchtefeld, who cast the only “no” vote, made this argument, according to the local news.
“If your religion is more important than our United States constitution, then you should work in a church, mosque, or a synagogue and keep out of public office,” Luchtefeld claimed.
Niemann responded that abortion is a matter of life and death, not religion.
“When we start talking about whether or not someone is going to live or not and when there’s a question of life, that the burden of proof should be beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
The county officials’ move comes in stark opposition to the Illinois legislature. In 2017, state lawmakers passed radical pro-abortion law that makes elective abortions legal up to birth legal and establish the Land of Lincoln as a “safe haven” for women seeking abortions. The law also forces taxpayers to pay for abortions.
Pro-life advocates estimate about 12,000 unborn babies will be aborted every year and their deaths paid for by Illinois taxpayers under the new law.
According to the Pro-Life Action League, the law also would keep abortion legal in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. The law makes Illinois one of the most pro-abortion states in America.