The city of Lindale, Texas approved a resolution Tuesday declaring that human life begins at conception and Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
Tyler Morning Telegraph reports the Lindale City Council passed the resolution after local residents urged them to pass a stronger pro-life ordinance declaring their city to be a sanctuary for 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.
According to the report, the Lindale resolution recognizes that human life begins at conception and supports laws that allow state and local governments to protect unborn babies. It also urges state and federal lawmakers to protect unborn babies and asks the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
While it is good that the city council did something to recognize the atrocity of abortion, several pro-life leaders and local residents expressed disappointment that they did not do more.
Right to Life of East Texas director Mark Lee Dickson has been leading the effort to pass Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances in cities across Texas. So far, 12 have done so.
Prior to the vote Tuesday, Dickson and a number of Lindale residents urged the council to approve the ordinance and protect the unborn.
According to the local news:
During public forum, Lindale resident Joyce Rhodes told the council she finds abortion appalling and had to be vocal for the unborn.
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“I have come to truly love Lindale,” Rhodes said. “I stand proudly for the unborn.”
Matt Myer, a Wells city councilman, said his city passed the ordinance to protect the unborn despite the possibility of lawsuits. He urged the Lindale City Council to pass the ordinance as well.
Speaking to the council for the third time, Paul Fancher said he worked with a group to stop abortion at the state level, but it didn’t work out. He’s working with Right to Life of East Texas to stop the practice at a city level.
“I am genuinely afraid people are going to face God’s judgment,” he said. “I am concerned with the laws of God. I am here in a legal capacity. I will continue to protect unborn children regardless if this ordinance passes.”
However, city attorney Glen Patrick advised against the ordinance, saying it could be challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional, according to the report.
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.
“The people of Lindale asked their city council to pass an ordinance that would effectively outlaw abortion,” Dickson said after the vote Tuesday. “Instead of doing this, the city council passed a resolution of words instead of an ordinance of action.”
Dickson told LifeNews previously that the ordinance takes legal challenges into account. He said it has “a public enforcement mechanism and a private enforcement mechanism. The public enforcement mechanism is about future enforcement.”
He said the public enforcement part 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.”
Earlier this month, the city of Wells in eastern Texas became the 12th Sanctuary City for the Unborn. Others include Big Spring in West Texas, Rusk, Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer and Westbrook. Omaha also passed an ordinance but later retracted it and passed a non-enforceable resolution instead.
In other states, local government leaders have passed pro-life resolutions in response to growing pro-abortion radicalism. 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.