17th Texas City Bans Abortions, Becomes “Sanctuary for the Unborn”

State   Micaiah Bilger   Dec 2, 2020   |   2:22PM    Ackerly, Texas

Ackerly in western Texas joined 16 other cities Tuesday in declaring itself a sanctuary for unborn babies and banning abortions.

Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and leader of the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort, said the Ackerly City Council voted 6-0 to pass the pro-life ordinance.

“Tonight the City of Ackerly, Texas (Population 251) became the seventeenth city in the nation to pass an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits,” he wrote on Facebook. “The vote was unanimous!”

The ordinance recognizes that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. It prohibits abortions within city limits and prevents abortion businesses from opening there. The ordinance also penalizes abortionists for aborting unborn babies, but it does not penalize women who seek or have abortions.

Dickson told LifeNews.com that the world needs more leaders like those in Ackerly.

“If every city’s leaders were like the city leaders of Ackerly, the world would be a much better place,” he said. “People ask me all the time why I believe slavery lasted as long as it did in our country. Leaders did not do what was right. The only way the abortion holocaust will end is if we do what is right and say, ‘Not in our cities.’ We may not be able to change Austin, but we can preserve cities like Ackerly.”

The other Texas cities that have passed Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinances are New HomeEast MountainWhitefaceWellsBig SpringRuskWaskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer and Westbrook. Omaha also passed an ordinance but later retracted it and passed a non-enforceable resolution instead.

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Residents of Lubbock also are trying to pass a Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance in their city after Planned Parenthood announced plans to open a new abortion facility there. In November, the Lubbock City Council voted against the ordinance, but because of a citizen-led petition, residents will have the opportunity to approve the ordinance on the May 2021 election ballot.

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.”

Each ordinance includes a public enforcement mechanism and a private enforcement mechanism. The public enforcement mechanism establishes fines against the abortionist and anyone who helps with an abortion within city limits. However, it cannot be enforced until Roe v. Wade is overturned.

However, the private enforcement mechanism is immediate. It makes abortionists and those who help them “liable in tort to a surviving relative of the aborted unborn child, including the unborn child’s mother, father, grandparents, siblings or half-siblings,” meaning the abortionist can be sued for aborting the unborn child.

Abortion activists have tried to stop the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort, but, in May, the American Civil Liberties Union dropped its lawsuit challenging seven of the cities’ ordinances.