Pro-Life People in Two Texas Cities Collect Petition Signatures to Ban Killing Babies in Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 7, 2021   |   12:49PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life advocates in two Texas cities are collecting petition signatures this winter to ban the killing of unborn babies in abortions in their communities.

Due to inaction by their city councils, pro-lifers in Abilene and San Angelo are taking matters into their own hands. They hope to join 42 other cities that have passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances and outlawed abortions within city limits.

Mark Lee Dickson, director Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, said pro-lifers in Abilene and San Angelo are collecting petition signatures for ballot initiatives that would allow their citizens to vote on the pro-life ordinance.

“Outlawing abortion through the initiative process, which is allowed for by some city charters, should only be considered if the mayor and city council are not listening to the will of the majority. This is why the initiative process had to begin in San Angelo and Abilene,” he said.

On Dec. 3, an initiating committee made up of seven Abilene residents sent documents to city leaders explaining their plans to begin a petition supporting a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance. Scott Beard, pastor of FountainGate Fellowship and a member of the committee, went to the Abilene City Hall to deliver the documents.

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“We filed these documents to cover all bases and to make sure our city had on record the exact date we started our signature collection process,” Beard said. The committee has 40 days to collect the signatures.

Dickson said they need to collect 6,550 signatures to force the Abilene City Council to either adopt the pro-life ordinance or allow it to be placed on the ballot for voters to decide on May 7, 2022.

Resident Micah Schmidt expressed hope that the abortion ban will pass in Abilene.

“God has a destiny for every precious mom and child. I want to be part of rewriting the story of Abilene,” Schmidt said. “I want to be able to tell my kids about the moment a city of people stood for the life of the unborn and experienced the blessing of God because of it.”

Dickson said pro-lifers in San Angelo already are in the process of collecting signatures on their petition to outlaw abortions in their city; they began Nov. 18.

Especially in Abilene, Dickson said the battle to end abortion will be difficult, but he expressed confidence that both cities will succeed in protecting unborn babies.

“We always knew Abilene was going to be a difficult battle,” he told “This city is where Sarah Weddington (who represented ‘Roe’ in Roe v. Wade) was born and where she went to college. Many people are seeing this effort as a way that Abilene can redeem history by being a city which helps bring an end to Roe v. Wade.”

Dickson said many churches also are involved in the effort.

To date, 42 cities in Texas, Nebraska and Ohio have passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances that outlaw abortions within their city limits. One in Lubbock, Texas passed by ballot initiative and led to Planned Parenthood stopping abortions there. The abortion chain challenged the ordinance, but a judge threw out its lawsuit over the summer.

The ordinance makes it “unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy” in the city. It also prohibits “any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion” and treats abortion-inducing drugs as contraband within the city limits.

The ordinance has both public and private enforcement mechanisms. 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 in violation of the ordinance.

Though abortion activists have threatened legal action, the cities have been successful in court thus far. In 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union dropped its lawsuit challenging several Texas cities’ pro-life ordinances.

Dickson encouraged anyone interested in seeing a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance pass in their city to visit