A New Mexico border town just gave a big “no” to abortion facilities opening in its community.
On Monday, the Hobbs City Commission voted 7-0 to pass an ordinance that will prevent Texas abortion businesses from moving across the border and running their deadly practices in Hobbs, according to Reuters.
Local resident Lori Bova led the grassroots effort after learning that Whole Woman’s Health, a former Texas abortion chain, was looking at properties in town. Hobbs is located just a few miles across the border from Texas.
When Texas began protecting unborn babies through its historic heartbeat law last year, the abortion industry turned its sights to New Mexico. The state allows abortions for any reason without restriction – making it easy for abortion facilities to do a lucrative business killing babies in the womb.
Bova told LifeNews that Hobbs is a conservative community, and they do not want to become an abortion destination.
“Our community is most definitely pro-life and we want to do everything we can to protect the unborn and vulnerable women,” she said.
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Even before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, Bova said she began to see God working in local residents’ hearts about protecting life.
“In February, we had a newborn baby discarded in a dumpster. Thankfully, people found the baby alive, and baby Saul is doing well,” she told LifeNews. “People would say if you look at Santa Fe and Albuquerque … New Mexico is pro-choice or pro-abortion, but when they found that baby, I saw a groundswell of pro-life support for this baby, this family.”
Bova said baby Saul’s abandonment, the pro-life laws in Texas and then the news about an abortion business potentially opening in Hobbs all stirred the community to action. She said their first rally in favor of the pro-life ordinance drew more than 100 people, and dozens testified in favor of it before the city commission.
The ordinance makes Hobbs the first city in New Mexico and the 52nd in the United States to pass a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance, said Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement.
“While the ordinance is different from [sanctuary city] ordinances passed in other states, the ordinance reaches the same result – the protection of the life of unborn children and their mothers in the City of Hobbs!” Dickson said Monday in a statement on Facebook.
The ordinance prohibits abortion facilities from opening within town limits.
After the vote, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a pro-abortion Democrat running for re-election, quickly issued a statement criticizing the measure. She told Reuters it is “a clear affront to the rights and personal autonomy of every woman in Hobbs and southeastern New Mexico, and we will not stand for it.”
But Bova said Hobbs residents do not just want to stop abortions, they also want to help women and children. She said their local pregnancy center has been increasingly busy since Texas banned abortions. She also thanked city leaders for approving the installation of a new safe haven baby box this fall to protect newborns like baby Saul from abandonment.
Dickson praised pro-lifers like Bova for taking action to protect unborn children in their communities.
“There are people all over the United States that are wanting to see their cities take steps to protect the health and welfare of unborn children, and I believe that this can be the path forward for every single state in America,” he said, according to Reuters.
A growing grassroots movement is working to protect unborn babies at the local level. To-date, 52 cities in Texas, Ohio, Nebraska and New Mexico have passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances that protect unborn babies by banning abortions and/or abortion facilities within city limits.
Other cities and counties 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, and the New Mexico county commissioners of Otero approved a resolution in July condemning the pro-abortion laws in their state.