Majority-Woman City Council In Texas Votes To Create Second ‘Sanctuary City For The Unborn’

Last Monday night, the City of Omaha, Texas, unanimously passed an ordinance outlawing abortion within city limits, making Omaha the second city in the nation to do so

Majority-Woman City Council In Texas Votes To Create Second ‘Sanctuary City For The Unborn’

Sept 17, 2019 By Georgi Boorman

On Sept. 9, the City of Omaha, Texas, unanimously passed an ordinance outlawing abortion within city limits, making Omaha the second city in the nation to do so, behind Waskom, Texas. The City of Naples quickly followed suit that same day in a 5-1 vote.

“To protect the health and welfare of all residents within the City of Omaha,” the ordinance reads, “including the unborn and pregnant women, the City Council has found it necessary to outlaw human abortion within the city limits.”

The text states that unborn babies “are the most innocent among us and deserve equal protection under the law as any other member of our American posterity as defined by the United States Constitution,” also asserting that “there is no language anywhere in the Constitution that even remotely suggests that abortion is a constitutional right.”

Both Men and Women Voted to Preserve Human Life

A majority-female Omaha City Council passed the ordinance on the heels of criticism that the all-white, all-male Waskom City Council was curtailing “the reproductive freedom” of a demographic that didn’t have a seat at the table.

“I hate abortion, and I don’t want to see an abortion clinic in our city,” Naples Councilwoman Sally Buford told the director of Right to Life of East Texas Mark Lee Dickson, who led the initiatives in Waskom, Omaha, and Naples. Naples Mayor Pro-Tem Jacob Wilson wrote in a Facebook comment relating to the decision that he was “truly proud to be the one to make the motion to pass this [bill].”

The Naples City Council is made up of four men and two women. The only opposition to the ordinance came from Councilman Danny Mills, an older, white male. “I just couldn’t see that we could tie up a mayor and cops tending to somebody else’s business,” Mills told Texarkana News.

Both Omaha and Naples are in Morris County in northeast Texas. Morris County voted overwhelmingly Republican in the 2016 presidential election, 69.3 percent to 28.7 percent Democrat.

Although national voters, who overwhelmingly support access to at least first-trimester abortions, might consider the ordinances radical, the city councils seem to have the support of their constituencies. During the 2018 Republican Party primary, voters had the opportunity to vote on Proposition 7, which gave voters the chance to voice their opinion if they were “in favor” of or “against” the following statement: “I believe abortion should be abolished in Texas.”

Out of 1,244 votes in Morris County, more than 75 percent were in favor of the statement.

The Ordinances Properly Define Abortion

The newly passed city ordinances define “surgical or chemical abortion” as the “purposeful and intentional ending of a human life,” classifying it as “murder ‘with malice aforethought.’”

“Rulings or opinions from the Supreme Court that purport to establish or enforce a ‘constitutional right’ to abort a unborn child, are declared to be unconstitutional usurpations of judicial power,” according to the ordinance, and are “declared to be null and void.”

The near-identical Naples and Omaha ordinances later state, however, that the public enforcement part of the ordinances cannot go into effect “unless and until the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), and permits states and municipalities to once again enforce abortion prohibitions.”

Although it would appear this clause renders the whole ordinance moot, Dickson says there’s no statute of limitations on this public act of enforcement: “This allows for those who break this law to be subject to these penalties at a later date — which is no laughing matter.”

“Do not be mistaken,” Dickson continued via electronic correspondence, “abortion really is outlawed in every city that passes these ordinances. If someone performs an abortion in a city that has outlawed abortion they have broken the law and there are both future (public enforcement) and immediate (private enforcement) consequences.”

Read the full Omaha ordinance here and the Naples ordinance here.

City Councils Demonstrate Farsightedness on Abortion

The Omaha vote was driven in part by Mayor Ernest Pewitt’s concern that an abortion business could move into the city and set up shop in an abandoned clinic, unless the city council passed a law to prevent it. The nearby city of Naples also has an abandoned clinic which could have been converted into an abortion facility.

The ordinances outlaw abortion within the city limits and ban the sale and distribution of “emergency contraception.” They define “emergency contraception” as “any chemical or substance which is manufactured for the express purpose of use after unprotected sexual intercourse and which may function as an abortifacient to end the life of an unborn child by preventing implantation of the zygote in the uterine lining. This definition includes Ella, Plan B, Next Choice One Dose, and My Way.”

Due to their inclusion of chemical abortion, these ordinances are more prescient than most other pro-life legislation, classifying “any remote personnel who instruct abortive women to perform self-abortions at home” as abortionists. Organizations dedicated to providing women access to and guidance for taking “DIY” abortion drugs are growing in popularity, particularly in areas and countries where abortions are banned or access is severely restricted. Without outlawing such efforts, many first-trimester abortions would continue undetected with the aid and guidance of “DIY” abortion activists acting with impunity.

The documents also named specific abortion-facilitating organizations and declared them to be criminal, including Planned Parenthood, Jane’s Due Process, The Afiya Center, The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and others.

Ordinances Include a ‘Life of the Mother’ Exception

The ordinance is also rare in its denouncement of “judicial usurpation” by the Supreme Court, although it simultaneously declines to enforce the laws until court precedent is overturned. In addition to these robust statements, the ordinances provide a “private enforcement mechanism” by which violators of the ordinance can be held liable in tort to any surviving relatives of the dead unborn child. Liability includes compensatory damages, including for emotional distress, punitive damages, and costs and attorneys’ fees.

Unlike the provisions that require public enforcement, these tort provisions can be enforced immediately and do not depend on overturning Supreme Court abortion precedent, according to Dickson. The ordinances contain a “life of the mother” exception, which is standard in virtually all anti-abortion legislation and is here written to proscribe abortion as a remedy where early delivery is the superior option.

The text states abortion is permitted “if the abortion was in response to a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy that, as certified by a physician, places the woman in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless an abortion is performed.”

Pro-life medical doctors acknowledge that “previable separations,” but never abortions, are necessary to save the mother’s life. In previable separations, mother and baby are separated to protect one or both lives, but the baby is not willfully killed. According to the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), in previable separations, health care providers try to “optimize the conditions of the separation so that the fetus has the best possibility to live.”

Executive Director of AAPLOG Donna Harrison told me via email, “The separation of the mother and her unborn child to save the life of the mother never requires the intentional death of the fetus,” even in cases such as chorioamnionitis (a bacterial infection which can turn lethal within a few hours), severe preeclampsia, or pulmonary hypertension. She believes the wording of the provision is sound.

Cities Are Sending a Big Message to Their States

The ordinances passed in Omaha and Naples were based on the ordinance passed in Waskom, Texas. The purpose of all three is to ban abortion services and prevent abortion organizations from building abortion facilities or converting old facilities into them. Dickson calls the ordinance template an “abortionclinic-ifacient,” which makes the city “uninhabitable to an abortion clinic and abortion services.”

According to Dickson, the Naples and Omaha city councils took proactive measures to protect what they view as the best interest of residents within the cities and in the surrounding areas, particularly those not yet born. Through these ordinances, these cities are “making a clear and definitive stand” for the preborn’s natural and constitutional rights.

“These ordinances are not perfect,” Dickson admitted, “but they seek to do what can be done within the laws of the state in which we live.” They aren’t a replacement for state action, “but should send a message to the state that the cities in their state have had enough of the bloodshed,” he said.

“It is time for the state to seriously consider bringing this holocaust to an end at the state level,” Dickson declared. He anticipates several more cities will pass similar legislation.

America is witnessing enhanced indignation over abortion as communities organize in earnest opposition. Whether these ordinances lead to courts overturning abortion precedent or to states nullifying Roe remains to be seen, but legislators at the state and federal levels would do well not to ignore the grassroots momentum of those opposed to legal abortion.

Georgi is a Senior Contributor at The Federalist, host of The 180 Cast, and coauthor of “Clocking Out Early: The Ultimate Guide to Early Retirement.” Follow her on Twitter.
Photo ArkLaTex Homepage/YouTube

Choose Life!

May 9, 2019 by Dr Michael Brown

More than three-thousand years ago, Moses urged the children of Israel to “choose life.” He said to them:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life—if you and your offspring would live” (Deuteronomy 30:19, NJPS).

But why would anyone choose death? Why would anyone choose to be cursed rather than blessed?

The answer is that God’s ways lead to life and blessing, but many people would rather die than follow Him.

They view God’s ways as restrictive. Oppressive. Antiquated. Harmful.

In reality, God’s ways lead to human thriving. To liberty. To freedom. To fullness.

As Jesus said:

“I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

To be sure, God’s ways require discipline. And obedience. And denial of the flesh.

But fleshly habits bring bondage. Discipline sets us free.

Indulging our earthly desires brings dullness and addiction. Obedience lifts us into a higher realm, far above our animal appetites.

God is a God of life, and in Him is life beyond description. That’s why Jesus could say:

“I am the resurrection and the life. . . . I am the bread of life. . . . . Whoever follows Me . . . will have the light of life” (John 11:24; 6:35; 8:12). And that’s why John called Him “the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).

Tragically, in recent decades, America has increasingly chosen a path of death, from abortion to violent video games, and from euthanasia to TV shows glorifying vampires and zombies. How can we turn the tide?

Here are some practical suggestions.

First, go about your normal daily activities, watching and reading and listening to what you normally watch and read and listen to, but this time take note of how much death is involved. How many images of the dead and dying? How many corpses? How much graphic violence? How much death are you seeing (by choice, not by necessity) over the course of a week?

Second, if you realize that you’re being influenced by a culture of death, then take a thirty-day break from all forms of death-related media entertainment, be it video games or favorite TV shows or gratuitously violent novels.

Third, immerse yourself in words of life. I would encourage you to read several chapters from Proverbs and the Gospel of John each day, noticing the constant emphasis on life. As the voice of wisdom says in Proverbs 8:

“For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death” (Prov. 8:35-36).

Fourth, when you spend time in prayer, ask God to flood your heart with His life and to give you the perspective of life, to see the world as He would have you see it.

Fifth, after thirty days, ask the Lord how He would have you to live. You might be surprised to see how your perspectives have changed. In the words of Paul:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things (Phil. 4:8, NIV).

If you’d like to take this even further, then consider three more steps.

First, get involved in the pro-life movement and work against abortion on demand in our nation. If Mother Teresa and others are right, this strikes at a major root of our culture of death, and by joining together as pro-life Christians, we can see the nation impacted.

Second, we can affirm the dignity of every human life by reaching out to the elderly, who are some of the most forgotten and neglected people in our society.

Third, get involved with another group that society discards, the poor and the hurting. Many churches have ministries to the poor and the needy, and every city has feeding programs and the like, and for the most part, they are greatly understaffed.

We celebrate life when we bring meaning and hope into the lives of the hurting, and we reaffirm that they too are created in the image of God, therefore of inestimable value and worth. It is something near and dear to the Lord’s heart.

The good news is that, across our nation, Americans are choosing life. In fact, already in March, a New York Times headline declared:

“Georgia Is Latest State to Pass Fetal Heartbeat Bill as Part of Growing Trend.”

The article noted that:

“The governors in Mississippi and Kentucky signed fetal heartbeat measures into law in recent weeks, and other states — including Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas — are expected to approve similar measures this year.”

May our nation choose life, that we and our offspring might live!

(Some of the material in this article was excerpted and adapted from my book Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation.)


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Texas Backs Chick-fil-A, Come What Mayo!

Chick-fil-A may cater, but not to the demands San Antonio liberals care about. Now, three weeks into the city council’s decision to ban the restaurant from the local airport, Texas conservatives know: this case for their religious liberty bill was made to order.

“Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport,” City Councilman Roberto Treviño told the media after the council’s 6-4 vote to boot the chicken chain from opening a shop in the terminal. Why? Because the owners dare to donate to charities like the Salvation Army. “Ridiculous!” Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) responded on Twitter. “That’s not Texas,” he argued.

Unfortunately, the state’s conservatives worry, that will be Texas if something isn’t done to protect religious freedom. “With this decision,” Treviño insisted, the council “reaffirmed the work [San Antonio] has done to become a champion of inclusion.” Until, of course, that “inclusion” applies to people who support natural marriage and sexuality. Where’s the equality for them? That’s a question the Lone Star State is trying to answer with the introduction of SB 17, the Free to Believe Act and the First Amendment Defense Act.

Chick-fil-A may be a private company, but that doesn’t mean it has to surrender its beliefs at the dining room door. And the same goes for any American trying to live out their faith in the public square. The San Antonio City Council thinks it can’t, “in good conscience,” sign an airport agreement with a business owned by Christians. But isn’t that exactly what this debate is about — conscience? Just because the Cathy family owns a national restaurant chain doesn’t mean they’re excluded from the First Amendment. Regardless of what liberals say, religious freedom isn’t just for churches. It’s for every business, wedding vendor, adoption agency, charity, doctor — every citizen. And that’s what SB 17 is hoping to remind Texans.

“We’re waking up in an era where Christian faith, specifically, seems to be under attack,” said state Sen. Charles Perry (R). In the current political climate, he’s worried Christians can’t practice their faith openly without facing consequences — including the loss of their jobs and livelihood. Under the Free to Believe Act, government officials can’t punish Texans for thinking differently than the radical Left. That’s just “a license to discriminate,” LGBT activists argue.

Not true, Republicans like Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (Texas) fired back. No one is trying to create a religious excuse for businesses to turn people away. No believer I know would want that — let alone lobby for it. As even Chick-fil-A has said, everyone should feel welcome at its restaurant. This debate has never been about Christians discriminating against anyone — it’s about stopping the government from discriminating against them!

Even in some of the more high-profile wedding vendor cases, where the Left is trying to paint Christians as intolerant monsters who want to slam the door shut on same-sex couples, you’ll find that — to a person — each shop owner was more than happy to sell the activists something off their shelves. In fact, Barronnelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers, considered the man who sued her to be one of her best customers. “I knew he was in a relationship with a man and he knew I was a Christian. But that never clouded the friendship for either of us or threatened our shared creativity — until he asked me to design something special to celebrate his upcoming wedding. If all he’d asked for were prearranged flowers, I’d gladly have provided them. If the celebration were for his partner’s birthday, I’d have been delighted to pour my best into the challenge. But as a Christian, weddings have a particular significance.”

In Chick-fil-A’s case, the Left’s overreaction is almost comical. The Cathy family hasn’t done any overt lobbying on natural marriage for years. In fact, they’ve intentionally backed away from taking a stand on issues of biblical morality — yet still, they’re a target. That ought to show everyone that there’s just no appeasing the Left. Simply being a Christian in the workforce — even a polite and politically silent one — is enough to draw the liberals’ wrath.

But the Democrats’ new terrain, where your personal views disqualify you from participating in society, is a dangerous precedent. If liberals choose not to eat Chick-fil-A, that’s their right. Just like it’s our right not to shop at Target until they stop putting women and children in danger with their bathroom policies. What isn’t our decision — or theirs — is to exclude these businesses from the market altogether. If you agree, join our friends from Texas Values in Wednesday’s Save Chick-fil-A Day! Come to the state capitol for the House hearing on the Free to Believe Act, and then drive-through your local chain on the way home. Help Texas leaders show the country that there’s always an appetite for real religious freedom!

As seen here at Family Research Council. Posted here with permission.

Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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