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By Steven Ertelt, LifeNews, June 10, 2021

Washington, DCThe city of Sundown, Texas voted Wednesday to become the 31st in the nation to ban abortions through a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance.

The Texan reports the Sundown City Council approved the ordinance just two days after the city of Levelland did the same. The vote was 4-1.

“God has chosen us for a time such as this. I am proud that my community and our council stand behind the right to life,” Mayor Jonathan Strickland said in a statement provided to LifeNews.com.

To-date, 31 cities in Texas, Nebraska and Ohio have passed pro-life ordinances to protect unborn babies by outlawing abortions within their city limits, said Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative.

The pro-life ordinance recognizes that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. It prohibits abortions within city limits and outlines legal consequences for abortionists who abort unborn babies. It does not penalize women who seek or have abortions, and it does not prohibit abortions when the mother’s life is at risk.

Dickson said Sundown residents expressed strong support for the ordinance at the meeting this week.

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“I could not be more proud to be a Roughneck tonight,” resident Matthew Nichols said, referring to the city mascot Joe Roughneck. “Knowing that Sundown has taken a righteous stand, in the midst of an ungodly era, gives me a great deal of peace. Unborn babies are the most blameless among us. I can’t express the relief found in knowing innocent blood will never be spilled in Sundown. Much Kudos to Mayor Jonathan Strickland and our city council members for vindicating life.”

Two cities in Nebraska and one in Ohio recently passed similar pro-life ordinances, joining more than two dozen Texas cities.

A few of the cities faced lawsuits from pro-abortion groups, but none of the legal challenges have succeeded.

Last week, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood challenging the Lubbock, Texas ordinance. Lubbock is the first city with an abortion facility to pass a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance, and Planned Parenthood stopped aborting unborn babies on June 1 when it went into effect.

Seven other Texas cities won another victory in 2020 when the American Civil Liberties Union dropped its lawsuit challenging their pro-life ordinances.

The Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance defines an abortion as “the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant.”

The ordinance has both public and private enforcement mechanisms. The public enforcement mechanism establishes fines against the abortionist and anyone who helps with an abortion within city limits. However, it cannot be enforced until Roe v. Wade is overturned.

However, the private enforcement mechanism is immediate. It makes abortionists and those who help them “liable in tort to a surviving relative of the aborted unborn child, including the unborn child’s mother, father, grandparents, siblings or half-siblings,” meaning the abortionist can be sued for aborting the unborn child.

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