Abilene, Athens, Plainview, and San Angelo approved the ordinances on November 8.
The ballot initiatives are part of a larger movement that has seen over 40 cities around the state adopt ordinances declaring abortion illegal within their borders.
Mark Lee Dickson, who leads the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn effort, told The Texan that it has been a “great week for the fight for life.”
“It is now illegal, under city law, for abortions to be performed on residents of Abilene, Athens, Plainview, and San Angelo — regardless of where those abortions take place. This is the next step in a post-Roe Texas and a post-Roe America,” Dickson elaborated.
The largest city, Abilene, passed the ordinance by a 6 point margin, with 53 percent of ballots cast in favor.
Tammy Fogle, who worked to pass the ordinance in Abilene, is overjoyed with the result. She told The Texan that the group experienced challenges with some “several prominent leaders in our city, from medical professionals to city councils members, twisting information about the ordinance within the last few weeks.”
The group persisted in sharing the facts they thought were important about the harmful physical and mental effects of abortion, and in the end, prevailed.
Fogle said the work is not finished. “Because we have taken this hard stance on protecting the unborn in our city, we now will continue working on making sure that people know the facts about abortion. Services are already in place for those who will need assistance caring for the babies who will now experience life.”
San Angelo also passed a Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn ordinance, by an even larger margin of 12 points.
Ryan Buck, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church and a leader of the effort in San Angelo, was gratified that residents of the city supported the ordinance.
He wasn’t surprised at the result, but hopes the efforts to support this ordinance “make it easier for our political leaders in San Angelo to stand for life in the future.”
“It’s one thing to say you’re pro-life, but it takes courage to lead based upon conviction. We want our leaders to know the citizens will have their back when they lead on moral issues,” Buck told The Texan.
Plainview’s ordinance passed by the largest margin, with 69 percent of votes cast in support and only 31 percent opposed.
Plainview is a city of about 22,000 people in the Panhandle region of Texas.
Athens was the fourth and smallest city to adopt a “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn” ordinance on November 8, with about 2,700 of the city’s 13,000 residents voting in the election.
The ordinance, which includes a recitation of the history and findings of abortionist Curtis Boyd, who performed abortions in Athens in the 1960s and early 70s while it was a criminal offense in the state, passed by a margin of 16 points.
In 2019, Waskom, Texas, a town in East Texas with a population of about 2,000, was the first city in the country to pass a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn” ordinance.
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Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.