Nebraskans in six cities will have the opportunity to vote in November on Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances that protect unborn babies from abortions in their communities.
News Channel Nebraska reports the proposed ordinances would ban abortions within the limits of Arnold, Paxton, Hershey, Brady, Wallace and Curtis if voters in each city approve them.
These cities would join three others in Nebraska and more than 50 across the U.S. that already have pro-life ordinances in place.
“I’m hoping our votes through these small communities speak volumes to those who are representing us [in Lincoln,]” Laurie Viter, of Brady, told the news outlet. “We want our voice to be heard, that we stand for life. We want to see our whole state become abortion-free.”
Viter is a pro-life counselor who helps women through the Women’s Resource Center in North Platte, according to the report.
While each ordinance differs slightly, they all recognize that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. Generally, each ordinance would make it unlawful for anyone to perform an abortion or “knowingly aid or abet an abortion” in the city. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk. Abortion practitioners could be penalized for aborting unborn babies, but the ordinance would not penalize women who seek or have abortions.
Lutheran Pastor Bill Forbes, a pro-life Democrat from Paxton, collected signatures earlier this year to prompt a vote on the pro-life ordinance in his town, according to the report.
“We in the Panhandle get shoved around by eastern Nebraska,” Forbes said. “Changes that need to take place to protect our country won’t come from Washington, and they won’t come from Lincoln. Real changes are going to come down here where the grass grows.”
None of the cities have abortion facilities, but the ordinance would prevent any from opening there.
Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, repeatedly has spoken about the need for such ordinances even in small towns, noting how mail-order abortion drugs are legal now and the Biden administration says it wants “abortion access in every zip code.”
“This is an ordinance that’s meant to protect these communities and the culture of these communities,” Dickson told News Channel Nebraska this week. “There are people that are wanting Nebraska to be more like Texas.”
In Texas, the cities of Abilene, San Angelo, Plainview and Athens also have Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances on their November ballots for voters to decide.
Citizens of Bellevue, Nebraska, which has an abortion facility run by late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart, also are trying to pass an ordinance to ban abortions there.
According to News Channel Nebraska, citizens in nine other Nebraska cities also are collecting signatures this fall to pass pro-life ordinances in their communities.
Dickson said pro-life advocates are working with cities in New Mexico to pass pro-life ordinances as well.
To-date, 51 cities in Nebraska, Texas and Ohio have adopted ordinances that outlaw the killing of unborn babies in abortions within city limits. One in Lubbock, Texas, which voters approved in 2021, forced a Planned Parenthood to stop aborting unborn babies in the city.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, states have been acting to protect unborn babies again. However, abortions are still legal in Nebraska.
In August, Gov. Pete Ricketts said he wants Nebraska to ban abortions and “affirm the rights of preborn babies and to support pregnant women, children, and families in need.” However, he said the state legislature currently does not have enough votes to pass legislation to limit or ban abortions.