In addition to holding abortion providers liable to the families of aborted children, the ordinance also allows the city to fine abortion providers if one of three different scenarios takes place: the city finds that penalizing the provider will not create an undue burden on women, the provider “lacks standing to assert the third-party rights of women seeking abortions in court,” or the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Morton Mayor Kim Silhan praised the ordinance, citing both scientific and religious mandates for its passing.
“If a pregnant woman is murdered the killer is charged with double homicide, as in the case of Lacy Peterson and many others. As for me, my decision was cemented within me years ago. Life begins at conception, period,” Silhan said.
“Science backs up my beliefs, and aren’t we preached to daily by the media to listen to science? Most importantly, my Father and His Holy Word backs me up. In Exodus 20:13 it says, ‘Thou shalt not murder.’ It’s not excusable to stay silent and not speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Councilman Buckie Dobson likewise said that religion guided his vote.
“My faith in God has led me to believe that life is the most important thing we have and that we should protect our children, especially the children that can’t speak for themselves,” Dobson said.
“We are protecting our community by doing this. We are putting a barrier, a fence around our town here, saying, ‘This will not happen in Morton.’ We will stand up for the kids in this town. We will stand up so they can grow up and become adults and become future leaders of this town, this state, and of this nation.”
Morton’s city council vote was unanimous, according to a Facebook post by Right to Life of East Texas Director Mark Lee Dickson, the man behind the ordinance.
Dickson, who has presented the ordinance to towns across Texas and been present at the city council meetings where they have been affirmed, set his sights on Lubbock recently after Planned Parenthood confirmed rumors that a new branch would open soon in town. With a six-figure population, Lubbock would be the biggest city on the map to outlaw abortion.
While 16 towns have passed the ordinance, it only wields effective legal power in 15.
Below is an interactive map of all the towns that have adopted this ordinance.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include the first two scenarios in which the city may fine abortion providers.
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