A Texas mayor urged his city to become a “sanctuary for the unborn” this month, inspired by other cities that have adopted ordinances in opposition to abortion.
Mineral Wells Mayor Christopher Perricone proposed the ordinance Tuesday, but the city council rejected it after the ACLU of Texas threatened to file a costly lawsuit, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The vote was 5-2 against the ordinance, which would have banned abortion facilities from moving into the city. NBC News 5 reports, “City council members said the vote wasn’t about their political views, but the potential for costly lawsuits against the city.”
Perricone said his idea for the ordinance came from Waskom, another Texas city that declared itself a “sanctuary for the unborn” earlier this summer, Fox News 4 reports.
“If we’re going to take the stance that we believe that life begins at conception, that our duty as elected officials is to protect that life, then I feel that we need to take this strongest stand possible,” Perricone said.
Ahead of the vote, Anjali V. Salvador, staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas, sent the city council a letter warning them not to pass the pro-life ordinance.
“Targeting abortion providers for performing important constitutional work implicates other rights that the ACLU holds dear,” the letter states. “We remain dedicated to protecting the rights of free speech and free association enjoyed by each person who lives in the United States.
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Several other local government bodies approved pro-life measures this year in reaction to radical pro-abortion laws passed in New York, Illinois, Vermont and Rhode Island.
In June, the eastern Texas city of Waskom adopted a pro-life ordinance declaring their home a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” Waskom is not far from the border of Louisiana, which recently passed a law banning abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. City leaders said they do not want abortion businesses to try to open in their city to attract women from across the border.
In New Mexico, Roswell city leaders passed a pro-life resolution in March after state lawmakers considered a radical pro-abortion bill to expand late-term abortions. The bill narrowly failed in the state Senate.
About a month later, the Riverton City Council in Utah passed a similar resolution, declaring the city a “sanctuary for the unborn.” Then in June, the Utah County Commission unanimously passed a resolution supporting protections for unborn babies.
ACTION: Thank the mayor and contact city council members here.