Ordinance Summary

Sanctuary City for the Unborn

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Ordinance

Forty-Five cities throughout the State of Texas have passed enforceable ordinances outlawing abortion within their city limits. Today, there is a groundswell of grass-roots support across our community for the City of Abilene to pass an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits.

  1. The Abilene Ordinance immediately outlaws abortion, preventing abortions from taking place within Abilene’s city limits. The Abilene Ordinance states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the City of Abilene, Texas” (Section D1) and “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the City of Abilene, Texas.” (Section D2)

  2. The proposed Abilene Ordinance, like the other Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn ordinances, are enforceable. The Abilene Ordinance has two major enforcement mechanisms: the PUBLIC ENFORCEMENT mechanism (Section E) and the PRIVATE ENFORCEMENT mechanism (Section F).

  3. The Public Enforcement Mechanism establishes fines against the abortionist (Section D1, E1) and anyone who aids and abets the abortionist (Section D2, E1) for any abortion which takes place within the City limits of Abilene. The ordinance is clear that these fines cannot be imposed unless it is determined that the individual seeking to impose the penalty upon the one who committed the unlawful act will not create an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions (Section E2b), the person, corporation, or entity who committed the unlawful act of abortion lacks standing to assert the third-party rights of women seeking abortions in court (Section E2c), or Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is overturned (Section E2a). This is only one section of the ordinance and the enforceability of this one section is not immediate, but dependent upon other factors. Unlike the public enforcement mechanism, the private enforcement mechanism is immediately enforceable (Section F4).

    The Private Enforcement Mechanism states, “Any person, corporation, or entity that commits an unlawful. other than the mother of the unborn child that has been aborted, shall be liable in tort to a surviving relative of the aborted unborn child, including the unborn child’s mother, father, grandparents, siblings or half-siblings. The person or entity that committed the unlawful act shall be liable to each surviving relative of the aborted unborn child for: (a) Compensatory damages, including damages for emotional distress; (b) Punitive damages; and (c) Costs and attorneys’ fees.

  4. The Abilene ORDINANCE DOES NOT GO AGAINST ROE V. WADE (1973), Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), or any Supreme Court ruling, but works within those rulings and current federal and state laws to go as far as it legally can go to prohibit and restrict abortion access under the confines of the undue burden standard which was set by the United States Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

  5. The Abilene ORDINANCE DOES NOT PENALIZE THE MOTHER of the unborn child that has been aborted. As it states in Section E3, “Under no circumstance may the penalty described in Section E(1) be imposed on the mother of the unborn child that has been aborted.

  6. The Abilene Ordinance contains AN EXCEPTION FOR THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER. This can be found in Section D3 which says, “It shall be an affirmative defense to the unlawful acts described in Sections D(1) and D(2) 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.”

  7. Some have erroneously stated that the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Ordinance does not immediately outlaw abortion since the “public enforcement” is dependent upon the overturning of Roe v. Wade or a variety of other factors. This is not the case. Section E4 clarifies the fact that ABORTION IS OUTLAWED EVEN IF THE PUBLIC ENFORCEMENT IS DELAYED upon other factors. Section E4 states, “The non-imposition of the penalties described in Section E(1) does not in any way legalize the conduct that has been outlawed in Section D, and it does not in any way limit or affect the availability of the private-enforcement remedies established in Section F. Abortion remains and is to be regarded as an illegal act under city law and a criminal act under state law, except when abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. And abortion remains outlawed under both city and state law, despite the temporary and partial inability of city and state officials to punish those who violate the abortion laws on account of the Supreme Court’s decision-making. If an abortion takes place within the city limits of Abilene upon the passing of the ordinance, the law is being broken. And while it is true that “public enforcement” is delayed upon other factors, “private enforcement” can immediately take place for any abortion taking place upon the passing of the ordinance because abortion is immediately outlawed within the city limits upon the ordinance’s passing.

  8. ABORTION IS NOT HEALTHCARE. Dr. Karysse Trandem is a board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologic Surgeon. Through her practice, she has seen patterns of distress in women who have had abortions. She has done research at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., and the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and she has been able to compile the risks to women who undergo an abortion. At the Lubbock March For Life, Dr. Karysse Trandem shared with those in attendance that “Healthcare is not abortion.” Dr.Trandem explained, “The risks to women are four-fold. (1) Breast Cancer. Women who have one abortion have a 30 - 40% increased risk of breast cancer in their lifetime. (2) Preterm Birth. Women who have a surgical abortion have a 36% increased chance of having a preterm birth because their cervix was damaged from an abortion. (3) Uterine Damage. There can be a hemorrhage that occurs when an active pregnancy is separated from the wall of the uterus. That can lead to severe hemorrhage, even death, and scarring that prevents future pregnancies. (4) Mental Health Issues. Women who have one abortion have an 81% increased risk of having emotional health problems that stays with them for the rest of their life such as high rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide.”

  9. When the ordinance is adopted by the City of Abilene and if the City of Abilene faces a lawsuit as a result of the adoption of this ordinance Attorney Jonathan F. Mitchell, the former Solicitor General of Texas, has committed to represent the city at no cost to the city and taxpayers.