Last week, East Mountain passed an ordinance outlawing abortion within city limits, becoming the next Sanctuary City for the Unborn in Texas. East Mountain, located in the piney woods of East Texas, follows other Texas cities in outlawing abortion, including Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer, Westbrook, Rusk, Colorado City, Gary, Big Spring, Wells, and Whiteface. The Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement, spearheaded by Right to Life of East Texas Director Mark Lee Dickson, continues to grow, and several other cities are expected to pass ordinances banning abortion in the coming weeks and months.
East Mountain was slated to pass the ordinance much sooner, but COVID-19 prompted a government shutdown and the vote was delayed until July 20, 2020. Dickson wrote about the ordinance, explaining: “While the ordinance does not prevent a woman from obtaining an abortion outside of the city limits of East Mountain, it does prohibit any abortion facility or services from being provided within the city limits of East Mountain.”
The grassroots movement banning abortion in communities across Texas has unleashed the ire of the abortion industry. The increasing number of cities and towns banning abortion and barring the abortion industry from their backyards threatens the power of the abortion mob in Texas. We can be certain of this based on the response from powerful abortion lobbying groups. First, with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), several abortion groups filed a desperate lawsuit against the seven Texas cities that became Sanctuaries for the Unborn. Notably absent from this first scattershot attempt to stop the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn movement were the abortion businesses which are directly affected by the passage of ordinances outlawing the lethal work of killing preborn babies in abortion. Instead, the abortion activist organizations working with the ACLU attempted to intimidate small Texas towns into surrendering their principles.
That effort failed, and the ACLU ultimately withdrew the lawsuit. However, this was quickly followed by a personal attack on Dickson and a legal attack on the free speech rights of Pro-Lifers across Texas. Alleging defamation, abortion groups sued Dickson for calling abortion “murder” and rightly calling abortion businesses “criminal organizations.” This suit, once again intended to intimidate, threatened the free speech rights of all Pro-Lifers in Texas.
Once again, the abortion industry has failed to intimidate and silence Pro-Lifers in Texas and courageous advocates for Life are standing to defend their rights and the rights of the preborn. In response to the attacks against Dickson, several Pro-Lifers from every corner of Texas filed countersuits against the abortion industry to reclaim their good name and defend the rights of Pro-Lifers to advocate for Life in the public square. The new lawsuit is a joint effort by Pro-Life activists, including longtime friend of Texas Right to Life, Ruth York, as well as attorneys, Thomas More Society, and Pro-Life Champion State Senator Bryan Hughes.
In a press release about the new lawsuits, the Pro-Lifers stated, “Each of these defendants [abortion organizations]has been stifling pro-life speech by filing defamation lawsuits against individuals who truthfully state that abortion remains a criminal offense under Texas law.”
Erick Kaardal, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, which is representing some of the Pro-Lifers, explained: “It is often assumed that the Supreme Court’s judgment in Roe v. Wade somehow cancelled or formally revoked the Texas statutes that outlaw abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger… But Roe v. Wade does not veto or repeal the statutes themselves, and the State’s criminal prohibitions on abortion continue to exist as the law of Texas until they are repealed by the legislature that enacted them.”
The courage and conviction of Pro-Lifers across Texas who have already committed to passing ordinances in defense of the preborn and those who will soon join them in this growing movement shows that the intimidation attempts by the abortion cartel has failed. Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn have the support of the people and will gradually drive out the abortion industry, which is precisely why abortion groups are so worried. As Bill Fowler, a resident of East Mountain, said, “I’m very proud of my fellow citizens in East Mountain. Silence is not the answer. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” Fowler added, “It is the duty of every elected official to lead in the direction that is most beneficial to their constituents, not to take the easy road, but to stand for what is right.”