Texas town declares itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn” with new ordinance
12/11/2019 // Cassie B. // Views

The town of Westbrook, Texas, has become the state’s seventh “sanctuary city for the unborn” with the passage of an initiative that is aimed at deterring abortion clinics from opening there.

The measure will ban abortion at all times during every stage of pregnancy on the grounds that it is considered “an act of murder.” It also states that all organizations that help perform abortions or aid others in receiving them are criminal organizations, such as Planned Parenthood.

The pro-life ordinance passed with a unanimous vote. It points out that local municipalities are given the right to self-governance in the Constitution, and it goes on to state that unborn children deserve equal legal protection as that granted to other people.

The move is part of an effort led by an initiative known as Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn. The ordinance has both a public and private enforcement component. The public enforcement mechanism slaps abortionists with a fine of $2,000 per abortion, but it will only be enforceable should Roe v. Wade – which, incidentally, also originated in Texas – be overturned.

The director of Right to Life of East Texas, Mark Lee Dickson, explained: “In other words, if you break the law today, you could be penalized for that crime years from now.”

He told The Texan that the penalties will accumulate and if Roe v. Wade is eventually overturned, abortionists and those who help them will be subject to the penalties if the abortion took place within Westbrook city limits.

He added that the private enforcement mechanism is not dependent on Roe v. Wade being overturned. Instead, it goes into effect immediately and enables the family of children killed by abortion to sue those who carried out the procedure, paid for it, transported the mother to the site of the abortion, and otherwise assisted in it.


In other words, the grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles connected to an aborted child, whether it’s on the mother’s side of the family or the father's, would be able to sue the person who carried out the abortion for damages.

Movement is gaining momentum

It’s an effort that has been growing in popularity. Since June, when Waskom, Texas, became the first city in the state to become a sanctuary city for the unborn, several cities have followed suit and others are expected to do so shortly. Many of the towns’ ordinances don’t make exceptions for cases of rape or incest, although they do allow abortions in cases where the pregnancy puts the woman’s life or health in danger. They also say that the mother who gets the abortion will not be punished, only those who help her.

Waskom’s ordinance forbids groups like NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Planned Parenthood from operating within the city. The town, whose population numbers roughly 2,200, is situated on the Louisiana border. Texas Right to Life plans to visit more than 400 more municipalities in the state to pitch their ban.

It’s not just Texas where the movement is picking up steam. Places like Riverton, Utah, and Springdale, Arkansas, are also joining the movement, with pro-lifers also finding some success in setting the stage for unborn rights at the local level in states like Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia.

Supporters of abortion are fighting against the efforts, calling it a “growing epidemic” that they think will spread and encouraging activists to challenge the ordinances. The ACLU of Texas has lawyers reviewing the ordinances and has said that legal action against them remains a possibility. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has targeted West Texas with a series of billboards promoting their smartphone app, which instructs users on where they can get drugs that induce abortions.

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