The ordinance, included below, authorizes citizens to sue anybody besides the mother herself that performs or aids an elective abortion in Normangee city limits. It does not outlaw procedures meant to save the mother’s life.
Like other “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn,” Normangee’s ordinance also allows local officials to directly penalize violators, but only if certain legal conditions are met. Before direct penalties are imposed, a state or federal court must rule that the penalty would not unduly burden abortion access, or that the violator lacks standing to assert the rights of women seeking abortions.
The ordinance also allows direct penalties in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Politico recently leaked an unofficial draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe, potentially spelling doom for the decision. The court released official opinions in two other cases today, but the case regarding abortion, Dobbs v. Jackson, remains unresolved for now.
The online court calendar has no new opinion issuance days scheduled in the near future.
Nearly all incorporated cities in Leon County have passed similar ordinances, including Centerville, Leona, Jewett, and Marquez. Two counties in Texas, Cochran and Sterling, have seen all incorporated cities within their limits join the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative.
Mark Lee Dickson, director of pro-life group Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, said interested parties from Buffalo and Oakwood have reached out to him.
Dickson maintains that the possible end of Roe does not nullify the initiative.
“If we add up all the pro-life legislation, we will have the pre-Roe Texas abortion statutes, we have the Texas Heartbeat Act, we have the Texas trigger ban. All those are great pieces of legislation, great laws on the books, and those laws will protect lives. But the places in Texas which will have the most protection will be those communities which have passed local ordinances that are sanctuary cities for the unborn,” Dickson explained.
“And so, come November, when the city of San Angelo and the city of Abilene and the city of Plainview and other cities that will be going through this process to get potentially on the ballot, when they vote on their ordinances, they’ll be going further than the pre-Roe statutes and the Texas Heartbeat Act and the Texas trigger ban but working within those at the same time to close up any loopholes that exist to make sure that we have the most protections on our books that protect pregnant mothers and their unborn children.”
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