Texas City Passes Ordinance Banning Abortions, Becomes a “Sanctuary for the Unborn”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 24, 2019   |   3:34PM   |   Tenaha, Texas

A fifth Texas city voted unanimously Monday to become a “sanctuary for the unborn.”

The Tenaha City Council passed the pro-life ordinance, banning abortions and abortion facilities in their city and declaring it to be a place where unborn babies are protected and valued.

Mark Lee Dickson, director of East Texas Right to Life, is a leading advocate of the new pro-life ordinances. He said Tenaha is the fifth city in the United States to pass an ordinance banning abortions. The others are Waskom, Omaha, Naples and Joaquin, all in Texas.

“Those are human beings, just as human as me and you, and all we are saying here is in our cities, we do not want those kids to be killed,” Dickson told KLTV.

The Tenaha ordinance states that the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong in its Roe v. Wade ruling, and unborn babies are living human beings who deserve a right to life.

“Abortion at all times and at all stages of pregnancy is declared to be an act of murder with malice aforethought,” it states.

The city of Gilmer, Texas is considering a similar ordinance this week, according to the local news.

Dickson said his organization would like to see every Texas city pass an ordinance to protect unborn babies’ lives.

In June, Waskom, Texas became the first city to prohibit the killing of unborn babies in abortions through a sanctuary city ordinance.

“Since we spearheaded the initiative, many other cities have reached out to us wanting to follow in the footsteps of Waskom by outlawing abortion in their own city and declare themselves a Sanctuary City for the Unborn,” according to Dickson’s website Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn.

Texas Right to Life also has praised the cities for taking “bold action” to protect babies in the womb.

“In the months to come, we anticipate more and more cities will follow … and act to prevent the violence of the abortion industry from spreading to their communities,” the organization said on its blog.

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An ordinance is a municipal government law or regulation. Some local governments in other parts of the U.S. have passed pro-life resolutions this year, but resolutions, unlike ordinances, do not have legal weight.

KLTV reports some lawyers have expressed concerns with the ordinances because of a potential legal challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court took away the power of state and local governments to protect unborn babies from abortion in Roe v. Wade.

Here’s more from the report:

East Texas attorney Blake Bailey says if a city enacts the anti-abortion ordinance, they open themselves to a court challenge, and he questions how it will be enforced.

Bailey says that if Gilmer decides to pass this ordinance in their city, are they are breaking a constitutional law.

“It would be wrong to find someone guilty and punish them for something that has been determined by the United States Supreme Court to be legal,” Bailey says.

In July, another Texas city considered a similar pro-life ordinance, but the council voted against it after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened a costly lawsuit.

A growing number of towns and cities have passed ordinances and resolutions this year to protect the unborn. Many come in response to abortion activists’ increasingly radical pro-abortion agenda. All of the top Democratic presidential candidates support forcing taxpayers to fund abortions and oppose minor, common sense restrictions on abortions after viability. Many of them also voted against a bill to protect newborns from infanticide.

Several states, including New York, Illinois, Vermont and Rhode Island, also passed pro-abortion laws this year to allow viable, late-term unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth.

In March, Roswell, New Mexico city leaders passed a pro-life resolution after state lawmakers considered a radical pro-abortion bill to expand late-term abortions. The bill narrowly failed to pass.

In New York state, Batavia city leaders and Putnam County legislators also passed resolutions condemning a radical new pro-abortion law in their state and supporting protections for the unborn.

In May, the Riverton City Council in Utah passed a similar resolution, declaring the city a “sanctuary for the unborn.” In June, the Utah County Commission unanimously voted in favor of a resolution supporting protections for unborn babies. The council in Highland, Utah and the city of Springdale, Arkansas also approved pro-life resolutions this summer.