Ten towns in Texas now have passed pro-life ordinances to ban abortions and protect the rights of unborn babies.
The city councils of Big Spring, Texas and Colorado City, Texas debated and voted on similar ordinances on January 14, declaring abortion to be murder and preventing the abortion industry from doing business within their cities’ jurisdictions. The ordinances do not penalize women who seek or undergo abortions.
The Colorado City ordinance passed 5-1, and the ordinance in Big Spring passed with a 3-2 vote. These are the ninth and tenth cities in Texas to pass an effective city ordinance, not just a ceremonial Pro-Life resolution, and Big Spring is the biggest town to date to pass the policy.
UPDATE: The Big Spring city council has given preliminary approval to the ordinance and final approval is forthcoming. Contact the city council here to urge it to pass the ordinance on its final vote.
As Texas Right to Life told LifeNews.com, the passage of these ordinances in West Texas is particularly timely since Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion business in the nation, has confirmed they are looking to expand their physical presence in this part of the state. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas received an anonymous donation of $9 million last year for the explicit purpose of building two West Texas abortion facilities. Also, Planned Parenthood currently has a billboard campaign in Abilene, San Angelo, and other neighboring cities.
“The ordinances both unequivocally condemn the United States Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized elective abortion. Local Pro-Life citizens supported the measure because they believe communities across the state and nation should take a stand against the injustice of elective abortion,” the pro-life group said. “Texas is a target for the abortion industry. Other southern states have enacted strong Pro-Life protections for unborn children, while the Texas State Legislature did nothing in their latest legislative session to ban abortions.”
In the Big Spring meeting, several pastors and faith leaders spoke in favor of the ordinance. In addition to those from Big Spring, Pro-Life activist and Pastor Stephen Broden prophetically pointed out, “The number one killer of black Americans today is abortion….we represent 12% of the population but more than 40% of abortions committed here.”
Texas Right to Life Legislative Associate Katherine Pitcher clarified for the Big Spring City Council that: “Roe v. Wade was decided half a century ago, before ultrasounds were common, before anyone truly understood the absolute and unquestionable humanity of the preborn child. You have the opportunity to make a real difference for Life, to protect the lives of your innocent preborn neighbors who are unable to speak for themselves. This is your opportunity, this is your moment, to stand for justice in your own community.”
In Colorado City, Rebecca Parma, another Texas Right to Life Legislative Associate, urged the council, “by passing this ordinance you are outlining Pro-Life territory in our state, saving the most innocent and vulnerable among us, and advancing the movement.”
The Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance recognizes that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. The ordinance prohibits doing surgical and drug-induced abortions within city limits.
Previously, Rusk, Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer and Westbrook also approved sanctuary city ordinances to protect unborn babies. Omaha was the seventh city, but it recently retracted the ordinance and passed a non-enforceable resolution instead.
Abortion activists with the American Civil Liberties Union have been threatening to sue the towns, but no one has filed a legal challenge yet. Some lawyers have warned towns about passing 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 through Roe v. Wade.
But Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right to Life of East Texas, told LifeNews that the ordinances take this into account.
He said the ordinances have “a public enforcement mechanism and a private enforcement mechanism. The public enforcement mechanism is about future enforcement.”
He said the public enforcement part of the ordinance fines abortionists $2,000 per abortion, but the penalty only would be enforced when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“In other words, if you break the law today, you could be penalized for that crime years from now,” Dickson said. “The private enforcement mechanism does not have to wait upon the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and is in effect immediately. This part of the ordinance is about private lawsuits. When a child is killed by abortion, the family of that child … can sue the abortionist, the one who paid for the abortion, the one who drove the mother to the abortion, etc.”
A growing number of towns and cities have passed ordinances and resolutions to protect the unborn. An ordinance is a municipal government law or regulation. A resolution is a statement of support or opposition, but it is not legally enforceable.
Many of these pro-life measures came in response to abortion activists’ increasingly radical pro-abortion agenda. All of the top Democratic presidential candidates want to force 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.
In 2019, 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.
Also in 2019, the Riverton City Council in Utah passed a similar resolution, declaring the city a “sanctuary for the unborn.” 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 last summer.