Santa Rosa County could be the first local government in Florida to declare itself a sanctuary for unborn babies.
On Monday, the Santa Rosa County commissioners debated the pro-life resolution before voting 4-1 to include it on the meeting agenda for Thursday, the News Herald reports.
The resolution, which is a statement of support but is not legally binding, states that life begins at conception, and unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected. It also encourages the county to “arrange for the placement of a suitable commemorative plaque on the grounds of the county government declaring Santa Rosa County to be a ‘Sanctuary for Pre-born Children.’”
Most of the local residents who attended the meeting expressed strong support for the resolution, including Cindy Roberts, of Life Options Clinic, a pro-life pregnancy resource center in Milton, Florida, WUWF News reports.
“My son and his wife were pregnant with their fourth child (who) was diagnosed with hygroma and Edwards’ syndrome,” Roberts told the commissioners. “Immediately, their doctor began to talk about early termination … but God is the author of life and death. My granddaughter turned 2 years old without issue. It wasn’t an improper diagnosis — God healed her in the womb.”
She said the pregnancy center is a sanctuary for women and babies in need, and she would love to see the whole of Santa Rosa County become a pro-life sanctuary, too. Life Options Clinic is a place “where women can come and receive the help and the hope that they are seeking,” she said.
Board Chairman Don Salter cast the only vote against the resolution, according to the News Herald. Salter said he is pro-life, but he believes the resolution is “too controversial and above the county’s purview.”
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He also said he thinks the resolution may be “politically motivated.” Salter’s political opponent, James Calkins, of Milton, wrote the resolution, according to WUWF.
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.
Within the past year, 12 Texas cities and towns passed pro-life ordinances to protect unborn babies from abortions. Just a few weeks ago, Big Spring in West Texas became the largest city in the country to pass an ordinance to prohibit abortions and protect unborn babies’ lives.
In 2019, Roswell, New Mexico city leaders also 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.