Leaders of an eastern Illinois city voted to advance a pro-life ordinance Tuesday after learning that an Indiana abortion facility plans to move to their community.
Danville, Illinois is located near the Indiana border and could become a destination spot for aborting unborn babies if the Indiana abortion ban goes into effect. The pro-life law currently is blocked by a court order.
On Tuesday, the Danville City Council Public Service Committee listened to many local residents urge them to stop the abortion facility from moving to their community, FOX Illinois reports. After public comment, the committee voted 3-1 to recommend a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance to the full council for approval.
Because Illinois laws allow abortions for basically any reason up to birth, the ordinance cannot directly ban abortions. However, it would protect unborn babies by requiring city-wide compliance with federal statutes – specifically the Comstock Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 1461–1462), which prohibits the mailing and receiving of abortion drugs and abortion paraphernalia.
According to FOX Illinois, many local residents attended the meeting to support the pro-life ordinance, while only a few objected to it.
“Danville is a community that has enough problems as it is right now,” resident Ray Taylor told the committee. “[An abortion facility] wants to come and they want to use our community, and that’s not good for Danville, Illinois.”
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WAND reports an ACLU of Illinois representative also attended the meeting, warning that her legal group may sue the city if the ordinance passes.
“The ordinance would be unlawful and unenforceable in the state of Illinois. It is without question the Illinois law protects reproductive rights. Including the right to obtain an abortion within the state,” the ACLU spokeswoman said.
However, Mayor Rickey Williams said Texas attorney John Mitchell has offered to defend the ordinance if the city faces a lawsuit.
Earlier this spring, Mark Lee Dickson, a director with Right to Life of East Texas and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, wrote more about the situation:
In mid-March 2023, McGhee Investment Group, LLC purchased a property in Danville, Illinois. McGhee Investment Group, LLC, was formed in early February 2023, and has Ladonna Prince from Indianapolis, Indiana as their registered agent. The address given by Prince for McGhee Investment Group, LLC is 3607 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana – which is the same address used for Clinic for Women – the abortion facility in Indianapolis, Indiana administered by Ladonna Prince. The location of the abortion facility in Danville, Illinois is 85 miles from Indianapolis, Indiana and 6 miles west of the Illinois-Indiana border.
Since the news broke about an abortion facility coming to Danville in early February, discussions have taken place among leaders in the community regarding the passage of an ordinance which would keep abortion out of the city limits.
The Indianapolis abortion facility advertises aborting unborn babies up to 14 weeks.
Danville is part of a grassroots movement working to protect unborn babies at the local level. To-date, 66 cities in Texas, Ohio, Nebraska, Louisiana, Iowa and New Mexico have passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances that protect unborn babies by banning or restricting abortions and/or abortion facilities within city limits. And more cities are debating ordinances this spring.
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, at least 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, too, and the New Mexico county commissioners of Otero approved a resolution in July condemning the pro-abortion laws in their state.