Texas now is home to 11 cities that have declared themselves sanctuaries for unborn babies.
On Jan. 28, Big Spring in West Texas became the largest city in the country to pass an ordinance to prohibit abortions and protect unborn babies’ lives, said Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative.
The goal of the ordinance, which passed in a 4-2 vote, is “to protect the health and welfare of all residents … including the unborn and pregnant women,” Dickson wrote at Live Action News.
The ordinance states: “the Supreme Court erred in Roe v. Wade, when it said that pregnant women have a constitutional right to abort their unborn children, as there is no language anywhere in the Constitution that even remotely suggests that abortion is a constitutional right . . . constitutional scholars have excoriated Roe v. Wade for its lack of reasoning and its decision to concoct a constitutional right to abortion that has no textual foundation in the Constitution or any source of law.”
Earlier this month, Colorado City, Texas, passed a similar ordinance.
The Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances recognize that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. They prohibit abortions within city limits and prevent abortion businesses from opening there. The ordinances also penalize abortionists for aborting unborn babies, but they do not penalize women who seek or have abortions.
Before the Big Spring council voted, many residents voiced their support for the measure. One of them, Roger Rodman, a city resident and Vietnam veteran, urged city leaders to take action to protect the unborn.
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“… I don’t want to see Big Spring become a city that kills babies. I have my reasons. I also work in the medical field and I have seen the end result of that. It’s ugly. The emotional end for females who have abortions years down the road, it’s ugly. And it’s not easily overcome…” Rodman said.
Mayor Shannon Thomason and Councilman Jim DePauw also spoke up in favor of protecting unborn babies.
“I have concerns about what an abortion clinic would do in the City of Big Spring,” Thomason said. “I had asked before, ‘Who wants one locating next door to their business? Who wants one locating in their residential neighborhood?’”
DePauw said 60 million innocent unborn babies have been killed in America, and it is time for the injustice to stop.
“I hope that most will agree that the murdering of 60 million innocent babies in our country has been wrong, and this is the first step forward, hopefully, in righting that wrong,” DePauw said.
These ordinances are particularly important because Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion business in the nation, confirmed that it is looking to expand in West Texas, Texas Right to Life told LifeNews.com. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas recently 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.
Previously, Rusk, Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer and Westbrook also approved sanctuary city ordinances to protect unborn babies. Omaha also passed an ordinance but later retracted it 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 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.
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.