Pro-life groups within Texas are claiming victory after the ACLU and two pro-choice groups dropped their lawsuits against seven towns that had declared themselves to be “sanctuary cities for the unborn”
The ACLU of Texas said this week it was dropping the suit after the seven towns removed language within their ordinances that called pro-choice groups and abortion clinics “criminal organizations.” The ACLU represented the Lilith Fund and the Texas Equal Access Fund in the suit, which was filed in February.
Language within the ordinances calling the towns “sanctuary cities for the unborn” will remain. Also unchanged is language that calls abortion “murder” and “the purposeful and intentional ending of a human life” and that says “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,” as the Naples, Texas ordinance says.
“The City Council has found it necessary to outlaw human abortion within the city limits,” the Naples ordinance says. In addition to Naples, the other Texas towns are Waskom, Joaquin, Tenaha, Rusk, Gary and Wells.
“This is a total and complete victory for the cities that have enacted these ordinances,” said Mark Lee Dickson of Right to Life of East Texas, which promoted the ordinances. “This lawsuit was nothing but a publicity stunt to deter other cities from creating sanctuaries for the unborn.”
Dickson believes the dropping of the suit will encourage other towns and cities to pass similar ordinances.
“Now even the ACLU acknowledges that there is no grounds for challenging these ordinances, and this will embolden other cities and towns to join the movement,” Dickson said.
The ACLU of Texas also declared victory.
“The 7 east TX cities we sued in February for passing anti-abortion ordinances have backed down in response to our lawsuit,” the ACLU of Texas said in a tweet. “It's now absolutely clear that our clients, abortion providers & advocates have the constitutional right to perform their work in these communities. … Anti-abortion extremists pushed these unenforceable ordinances to mislead Texans about their rights and stigmatize abortion care.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.