Nine cities in Nebraska and Texas voted to become “sanctuary cities for the unborn” during the midterm elections, contrasting some state-level ballot initiative failures with earnest local pro-life wins.
On November 8, four Texas cities and six Nebraska villages voted on local ballot measures that would outlaw abortions in their jurisdictions, Director of Right to Life of East Texas Mark Lee Dickson wrote for Live Action, a pro-life group. Nine out of ten of those cities passed the ordinances, bringing the total number of ordinances passed by the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative across the nation to 61 since June 11, 2019.
Voters in Athens, Texas, which is located in Henderson County, voted to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits. The ordinance passed 58 percent (1,579 votes) to 42 percent (1,153), according to KETK. The city’s total population is a little more than 13,000.
“The ordinance adds further restrictions on abortion, prohibiting abortions performed on Athens residents — regardless of what state those abortions take place in,” Dickson wrote. “The Athens Ordinance also explicitly condemns the legacy of Curtis Wayne Boyd, who killed over 10,000 unborn children through illegal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade and opened up the first “legal” abortion facility in Texas after the 1973 ruling.”
The City of Abilene, Texas, with a population of 124,407 voted to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion within the city limits 53 percent to 47 percent.
“The passing of Proposition B means that abortion at any state of pregnancy is now considered to be murder in the City of Abilene, unless significant danger to a mother’s life is present,” CBS Austin reported.
Like in Athens, the ordinance also prohibits Abilene residents from getting abortions in other places.
San Angelo, Texas
Voters in San Angelo, Texas, voted 56 percent to 44 percent to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion. The ordinance further prohibits residents from getting abortions in other places. The city’s total population is around 101,000 — approximately 13,000 residents voted yes on the ordinance and 10,000 voted no.
“The results of the election reflect what the coalition of our churches who led the campaign have believed all along,” Pastor Ryan Buck told Dickson. Buck is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in San Angelo and was one of the people who “led the charge” to outlaw abortion in the city.
“Abortion is murder and a degradation to our position as image bearers of God. Our victory should give our community leaders the backbone they need to stand for the moral issues of our day,” Buck continued.
Voters in Plainview, a city with a population of 22,343 in Hale County, voted 69 percent to 31 percent to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits.
“The ordinance makes clear that procedures to save the life of the mother or unborn child, remove a miscarried fetus or remove an ectopic pregnancy are not subject to the proposed code. It also clarifies that birth-control devices and pills and emergency contraception like Plan B are not included in the ban,” the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal noted.
The ordinance further prohibits residents from getting abortions in other places.
Citizens of Arnold, a small village with a population of 597 people located in Custer County, voted 60 percent to 40 percent to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits.
According to the North Platte Telegraph, 249 people voted to pass the measure.
“I praise God for moving in the hearts of Arnold residents to vote for this ordinance to stop any abortion from happening on our soil. I pray many more towns and cities in our state and around the country will follow and do the same,” resident Lori Stutzman told Dickson.
Paxton, a village with a population of 523 in Keith County, narrowly passed an ordinance outlawing abortion within their limits, 52 percent to 48 percent.
Pastor of Paxton New Life Lutheran Church Will Forbes said he hopes more villages and cities will pass their own bans to “bring civility back to our land.”
“The Roe v. Wade decision back in 1973 has had a tremendous influence in helping to subvert the conscience of our land so that we have become a violent culture,” he said. “Our task is large. Helping to reinvigorate and again establish our cultural conscience is a large task and will not happen overnight. What we proclaimed on Election Day in this little town must be proclaimed in the next town and the next and the next. We must bring civility back to our land.”
Brady, a village with 428 people in Lincoln County, passed an ordinance outlawing abortion, 57 percent to 43 percent.
Overall, 84 voted for the ordinance and 63 against it for a total of 147 votes cast.
Voters in the small Village of Hershey (population 665) also voted to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion, 57 percent to 43 percent.
“The ordinance language varies from city to city. The Hershey version makes it unlawful to: procure or perform an abortion in the village, or to aid in the procedure by providing transportation, instructions or financial support to an individual, or to possess abortion-inducing drugs,” the North Platte Telegraph reported.
“The penalty for the above actions would be a $500 fine, but there is an affirmative defense written into the ordinance if the abortion was in response to a life-threatening physical condition,” the report continues.
The Village of Wallace located in Lincoln County (population 366) passed an ordinance outlawing abortion, 64 percent to 36 percent.
“I am pleased that five local communities, including the Village of Wallace, voted in favor of becoming Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn. I am so thankful that my family and I live in a wonderful and God-fearing part of Nebraska,” Mayor Kim Primavera said.
Curtis, Nebraska — Failed to Pass
Curtis, Nebraska, in Frontier County (population 939) is the only community that did not pass an abortion ordinance that was on the ballot.
According to Dickson, Curtis citizens voted 29 percent in favor and 71 percent against.