44th Texas City Passes Measure to Ban Abortions, Become “Sanctuary for the Unborn”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 17, 2022   |   12:04AM   |   Jewitt, Texas

The city of Jewett, Texas just became the 44th in America to pass a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance that bans all abortions within city limits.

Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, said the city council approved the pro-life ordinance in a unanimous vote Tuesday.

“Tonight the City of Jewett, Texas (population 1,250) became the FORTY-FOURTH CITY in the nation, and the fortieth city in Texas, to pass an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits,” Dickson wrote on Facebook. “The vote by the City Council was unanimous! 5-0! Way to go Jewett, Texas!”

To date, 44 cities in Texas, Nebraska and Ohio have passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances that outlaw abortions within city limits.

Pro-life residents of Abilene and San Angelo, Texas, also are working to pass ordinances in their cities this year, potentially by ballot measure if their city councils do not act.

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Each ordinance differs slightly in every city, but generally, the Sanctuary City for the Unborn 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.

In most cities, 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 an unborn child in violation of the ordinance.

“The people of Leon County are sending a clear message that abortion is not wanted in their county!” Dickson told LifeNews. “I am thankful for the leadership of Mayor John Sitton for making sure that Centerville and Leona were not the only cities which had outlawed abortion within their city limits. I hope that other city leaders will be just as vigilant in making sure their cities are safe from abortion becoming a reality in their city limits!”

Pastor Allen Crosby of First Baptist Church of Jewett also praised the city council for taking action.

“I want to thank the Jewett City Council and Mayor John Sitton for unanimously approving a city ordinance making Jewett the 40th city in Texas a Sanctuary City for the Unborn,” Crosby said in a statement to LifeNews. “I am thrilled about this ordinance because it legally outlaws abortion in our city. I also want to thank Mark Lee Dickson for his help and guidance. This is an answered prayer as we eradicate this scourge from our nation one city at a time.”

The pro-life ordinances are saving babies’ lives and withstanding legal challenges.

In 2021, voters in Lubbock, Texas overwhelmingly approved a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance on the ballot, and Planned Parenthood was forced to stop aborting unborn babies there. The abortion chain challenged the ordinance, but a judge threw out its lawsuit later that year. Then, in January, Planned Parenthood decided to drop its lawsuit completely in a major victory for life.

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

Local efforts to protect unborn babies from abortion are growing. Cities in Ohio and Nebraska also have passed pro-life ordinances that ban abortions. However, two cities did repeal their ordinances: Mason, Ohio and Omaha, Texas.