21st Texas City Bans Abortions, Becomes “Sanctuary for the Unborn”

State   Micaiah Bilger   Mar 5, 2021   |   3:51PM    Gorman, Texas

An all-female city council passed a Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance Thursday to outlaw the killing of unborn babies in abortions in Gorman, Texas.

The 4-0 vote makes Gorman (population 1,083) the 21st city to pass the pro-life ordinance.

“This is a no-brainer,” said City Commissioner Vicki Brown in a statement provided to LifeNews. “I think we don’t have a choice. This is what we do. This is what we have to do. For the good of this town. For the good of the students. For the good of this community and the people who are around us.”

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 abortion practitioners for aborting unborn babies, but it does not punish women who have abortions.

“It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the City of Gorman, Texas,” the ordinance states.

Mayor David Perry, who does not vote unless there is a tie, supported the council’s action.

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“I feel it is very important for small towns like Gorman to pass this Sanctuary City ordinance simply because the message it sends to the people outside of the community, but especially to all of the children and the citizens of the community,” Perry said in a statement provided to LifeNews.

Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right to Life of East Texas and leader of the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort, celebrated the growing number of cities that are taking action to protect unborn babies.

“City by city, cities are saying, ‘We are not going to allow babies to be murdered here by abortion,’” Dickson said. “People may kill their young in other cities, but that practice is not allowed in Gorman, Texas. Gorman is a city where the community takes care of one another. Gorman is a community of life, not death.”

Dickson said a group of pastors in Gorman helped to lead the effort, including Pastor Richard Watson of New Hope Baptist Church. Together, they collected more than 100 signatures from residents in support of the ordinance.

Other Texas cities that have passed pro-life ordinances include CarbonGrapelandNew 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.

Residents of Lubbock also are trying to pass a Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance after Planned Parenthood opened a new abortion facility there late last year. In November, the Lubbock City Council rejected the ordinance, but because of a citizen-led petition, residents will have the opportunity to approve the ordinance on the May election ballot.

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.