22nd Texas City Bans Abortions, Becomes “Sanctuary for the Unborn”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 11, 2021   |   10:49AM   |   Murchison, Texas

Encouraging things are happening across Texas for unborn babies.

On Tuesday, a 22nd city passed a pro-life ordinance declaring itself a Sanctuary for the Unborn and banning abortions. The Murchison City Council voted unanimously in favor of protecting unborn babies in their city.

“We escaped California as political refugees so that we could come to Texas and be at a place where there is freedom and safety for our children,” Councilwoman Alisa Griffis said in a statement provided to LifeNews. “Every single child is worth life. Every child.”

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 penalize women who seek or have abortions.

“The City of Murchison was founded on conservative principles. Tonight the people spoke that every life matters,” Mayor Bryan Wilkins said after the vote.

Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right to Life of East Texas and leader of the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort, praised Murchison leaders for addressing a “barbaric practice” that society has ignored for far too long.

“Our society has many problems … and killing child after child by abortion is one problem which has gone unaddressed for far too long,” Dickson told LifeNews. “Last night, however, the leaders of Murchison were clear: ‘Abortion is against the law within the city limits of Murchison, Texas.’ Babies cannot be murdered here.”

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Abortion is defined in the Murchison ordinance as “the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant. The term does not include birth-control devices or oral contraceptives.”

According to the ordinance, an act is not an abortion if the act is done with the intent to “save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child; remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by accidental miscarriage; or remove an ectopic pregnancy.”

The other Texas cities that have passed pro-life ordinances include GormanCarbonGrapelandNew 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 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.

“It is time for every city in Texas to rise up and do the very same things which we are asking our Senators and Representatives to do down in Austin. The intentional murder of our children is a barbaric practice which must end in our state,” Dickson said.

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.