Texas City Unanimously Votes to Ban Abortions, Become a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 25, 2022   |   1:46PM   |   Washington, DC

Lindale, Texas just became the 47th city in the United States to pass a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance that outlaws abortions within city limits.

CBS 19 reports the Lindale City Council approved the pro-life ordinance in a unanimous vote Thursday after a three hour hearing.

Earlier this year, Lindale residents collected enough signatures on a petition to require the city council to vote on the ordinance, according to the local news. The city code allows residents to prompt a vote on issues if they collect enough signatures on a petition. According to the code, the city council either must adopt the proposal or allow voters to decide through a ballot measure.

Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, said Lindale is the first city council to pass the pro-life ordinance this way.

“Since they passed the ordinance there is no need for there to be a citywide election on the ordinance,” Dickson wrote on Facebook after the vote. “There were over 500 in attendance in support for life! The vote by the City Council was unanimous. 4-0! Way to go Lindale, Texas!”

REACH PRO-LIFE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE! Advertise with LifeNews to reach hundreds of thousands of pro-life readers every week. Contact us today.

Two other cities, Shallowater, Texas and Pollock, Louisiana, also passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances this week.

There is no abortion facility in Lindale, but the ordinance will prevent one from opening there. It also will combat the rise of mail-order abortion drugs, which the Biden administration began allowing late last year, Dickson said.

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.

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 Texas heartbeat law has a similar enforcement provision.

To date, 47 cities in Texas, Nebraska, Ohio and Louisiana have passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances. However, two cities did repeal their ordinances: Mason, Ohio and Omaha, Texas.

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

Though abortion activists have threatened legal action, cities have been successful in court thus far.

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.

In 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union dropped another lawsuit challenging several Texas cities’ pro-life ordinances.

A growing grassroots movement is working to protect unborn babies at the city and county level.

Other cities and counties have been passing pro-life resolutions, which are statements of support but not enforceable law, that recognize unborn babies’ right to life. In Arkansas, 19 counties and 10 cities and towns have passed pro-life resolutions, according to Family Council of Arkansas. Several North Carolina counties passed pro-life resolutions recently, too.