Another Texas city just said “Yes!” to protecting unborn babies from abortion.
On Wednesday, the Marquez City Council voted unanimously to pass a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance to outlaw 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 Marquez is the 48th city in the U.S. to pass the pro-life ordinance.
“The vote by the City Council was unanimous! Way to go Marquez, Texas!” Dickson wrote on Facebook after the vote. “Marquez is the fourth city in Leon County to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion, following the cities of Centerville (population 892), Leona (population 175), and Jewett (population 1,250).”
“Mayor Stynette Clary recognized the ordinance to be a preventative measure, as a way to be proactive in their community. I hope more mayors across the United States step up, just like Mayor Clary did, and make sure that their city is safe from the expansion of the abortion industry,” Dickson told LifeNews.com. “Now is not the time to sit around and wait for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Now is the time for our local leaders to join our state leaders in stepping out and passing aggressive pro-life laws restricting abortion.”
There is no abortion facility in Marquez, 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” within city limits. It also prohibits “any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion” and treats abortion-inducing drugs as contraband.
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.
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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.
Though abortion activists have threatened legal action, the 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 local level. In the past several years, other cities and counties also have passed 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.