The city council of Sterling City, Texas voted unanimously Monday to enact a pro-life ordinance that protects unborn babies by banning abortions within city limits.
Live Action News reports the vote was 5-0 in favor of the Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance. The council’s action makes Sterling City the 32nd in the nation and the 29th in Texas to pass a pro-life ordinance.
Mayor Lane Horwood said the ordinance is “an awesome opportunity to be a part of a grassroots movement” dedicated to protecting unborn babies, according to the report. He said the city attorney also supports the ordinance and promised to defend it.
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The pro-life ordinance makes abortions illegal within city limits. It defines abortion 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.”
It also prohibits abortion-inducing drugs, which now are being sold through the mail in the U.S. due to actions by President Joe Biden’s administration. The ordinance does not ban birth control.
“It is always encouraging to see cities like Sterling City stand up and declare, under the laws of their city, that the abortion of unborn children will not be allowed in their city,” said Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative. “When I first talked to the mayor about this possibility, he told me that he could not see how anyone with a brain and a heart could vote against this ordinance, and I agree wholeheartedly.”
The ordinance includes both public and private enforcement mechanisms. The public enforcement mechanism, which cannot be enforced immediately because of current court rulings, creates fines against the abortionist and anyone who helps the abortionist abort an unborn baby in the city.
However, the private mechanism is immediately enforceable. It allows anyone, such as the relative of an unborn baby, to sue the abortionist or anyone who helps the abortionist with the death of the unborn baby.
To date, two cities in Nebraska, one in Ohio and 29 in Texas have passed pro-life ordinances through the Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement. Two other cities, Eastland, Texas and South Lebanon, Ohio, also advanced Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances last week, and final votes are expected later this summer, Dickson said.
“From the City of San Angelo, Texas to the Village of South Lebanon, Ohio to the City of Naples, Florida, we are going to do everything we can to help every city which reaches out to us,” Dickson told LifeNews.com.
Several cities with Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinances faced lawsuits by pro-abortion groups, but none of the legal challenges have succeeded.
Earlier this summer, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood challenging the Lubbock, Texas ordinance. Lubbock is the first city with an abortion facility to pass a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance, and Planned Parenthood stopped aborting unborn babies on June 1 when it went into effect.
Seven other Texas cities won another victory in 2020 when the American Civil Liberties Union dropped its lawsuit challenging their pro-life ordinances.