Hillsdale could become the first city in Michigan to pass a Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance and ban the killing of unborn babies abortions.
On Monday, the Hillsdale City Council voted unanimously to advance the ordinance to committee for further review, according to Hillsdale Daily News. The vote happened after about two hours of public comment and a protest outside by abortion activists and the Hillsdale County Democratic Party.
If it passes, Hillsdale would join more than 30 other cities in Texas, Nebraska and Ohio with ordinances that ban abortions within city limits.
The Michigan city ordinance would make it unlawful for any person to procure or perform, aid or abet an abortion at any stage of pregnancy in the city. 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.”
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It would not ban birth control, and it would allow exceptions for abortion if the mother’s life is at risk.
Council member Tony Vear introduced the ordinance to the council, the Daily News reports.
“If it saves just one unborn child, it’s worth it,” Vear told the board Monday. “We’re basically talking about the death of an innocent child. I like to speak for the unborn because they don’t have a voice.”
Heather Tritchka–Stuchell, vice president for Hillsdale County Right to Life, said cities need to act because President Joe Biden’s administration is pushing to “make abortion available in every U.S. zip-code in America,” according to the report.
“We want to keep abortions out of Hillsdale,” Tritchka said. “This is not government overreach. This is preventing government overreach.”
There is no abortion facility in Hillsdale, but the Biden administration recently began allowing abortion facilities to sell abortion drugs in the mail without the woman ever having to see a doctor in person.
State Rep. Andrew Fink, R-Adams Township, whose district includes Hillsdale, also encouraged the city leaders to pass the ordinance, News Talk WBCK reports.
“I commend the members of the Hillsdale City Council for taking up this issue to defend the lives of the unborn and encourage them to adopt this ordinance …” Fink said in a statement. “Our area is deeply rooted in family values, and our people are longstanding defenders of the sanctity of life and the right to life.”
The pro-life ordinance met resistance from at least one city council member, Bruce Sharp, and several local residents. Some local Democrat and Republican party leaders also spoke out against the ordinance, claiming it is “unenforceable” and “unconstitutional,” according to the report.
But Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances are being enforced in other states.
To date, two cities in Nebraska, one in Ohio and 30 in Texas have passed pro-life ordinances through the Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement. Cities and a county in Florida and other states also are considering ordinances this year.
Several cities 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.