Eight towns in Texas now have passed pro-life ordinances to ban abortions and protect the rights of unborn babies.
The latest was Rusk (population 5,618) in eastern Texas. On Thursday, its city council voted 3-2 to pass the measure as local residents cheered, The Texan reports.
The Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance recognizes that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. The ordinance prohibits doing surgical and drug-induced abortions within city limits.
Speaking prior to the vote, resident Amy Blackwell told the council why the ordinance is so vital.
“Have you ever made a permanent bad decision on a temporary emotion? Most abortions are made on just that — the emotions of fear and worry,” Blackwell said, according to the report. “I was once in that moment, visiting an abortion clinic to have my worry terminated … My emotions then almost killed my now 8-year-old daughter.”
Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right to Life of East Texas, said Rusk is the biggest town to-date to adopt a sanctuary city ordinance for the unborn.
“Special thanks to everyone who came out in support and thank you to the Mayor, City Council, City Manager, and City Attorney for all of the time spent on this very worthy subject. Special thanks also goes out to the Rusk Police Department which did their part to make sure we all were safe tonight. Praise Jesus!” Dickson said. “… many more cities are expected to follow in the coming weeks.”
The city of Big Spring in western Texas also is considering becoming a sanctuary for the unborn.
Earlier this year, Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer and Westbrook also approved sanctuary city ordinances to protect unborn babies. Omaha was the seventh city, but it recently retracted the ordinance and passed a non-enforceable resolution instead.
Abortion activists with the American Civil Liberties Union have been threatening to sue the towns, but no one has filed a legal challenge yet, according to the report.
Some lawyers have warned towns about passing the ordinances because of a potential legal challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court took away the power of state and local governments to protect unborn babies from abortion through Roe v. Wade.
But Dickson told LifeNews that the ordinances take this into account.
He said the ordinances have “a public enforcement mechanism and a private enforcement mechanism. The public enforcement mechanism is about future enforcement.”
He said the public enforcement part of the ordinance fines abortionists $2,000 per abortion, but the penalty only would be enforced when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“In other words, if you break the law today, you could be penalized for that crime years from now,” Dickson said. “The private enforcement mechanism does not have to wait upon the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and is in effect immediately. This part of the ordinance is about private lawsuits. When a child is killed by abortion, the family of that child … can sue the abortionist, the one who paid for the abortion, the one who drove the mother to the abortion, etc.”
A growing number of towns and cities have passed ordinances and resolutions to protect the unborn. An ordinance is a municipal government law or regulation. A resolution is a statement of support or opposition, but it is not legally enforceable.
Many of these pro-life measures came in response to abortion activists’ increasingly radical pro-abortion agenda. All of the top Democratic presidential candidates want to force taxpayers to fund abortions and oppose minor, common sense restrictions on abortions after viability. Many of them also voted against a bill to protect newborns from infanticide.
In 2019, Roswell, New Mexico city leaders passed a pro-life resolution after state lawmakers considered a radical pro-abortion bill to expand late-term abortions. The bill narrowly failed to pass.
In New York state, Batavia city leaders and Putnam County legislators also passed resolutions condemning a radical new pro-abortion law in their state and supporting protections for the unborn.
Also in 2019, the Riverton City Council in Utah passed a similar resolution, declaring the city a “sanctuary for the unborn.” The Utah County Commission unanimously voted in favor of a resolution supporting protections for unborn babies. The council in Highland, Utah and the city of Springdale, Arkansas also approved pro-life resolutions last summer.