The small town of New Home became the 15th Texas city to declare itself a Sanctuary for the Unborn on Tuesday.

Caprock Patriot blog reports the New Home city council acted quickly on the pro-life ordinance after residents expressed concerns about a new Planned Parenthood abortion facility opening in the nearby town of Lubbock.

The “Sanctuary for the Unborn” ordinance recognizes that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. It prohibits abortions within city limits and prevents abortion businesses from opening there. The ordinance also penalizes abortionists for aborting unborn babies, but it does not penalize women who seek or have abortions.

Pastor L.J. and Tiffani Wright of New Home Baptist Church led the effort in their West Texas town after hearing about plans to open a new abortion facility in Lubbock, about 18 miles away, according to the report.

The couple said they lost their stillborn daughter Wrenley last year, and her death reminded them about the precious value of every baby’s life.

“I cannot imagine someone intentionally ending a child’s life — at the stage Wrenley was at, or any stage,” Tiffani Wright said. “Children are a gift from the Lord, and we should view them as the precious gifts that they are.”

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The Wrights contacted Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and leader of the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort, and began urging the city council to pass a pro-life ordinance, the report states.

On Tuesday, “as the vote to outlaw abortion within our city limits finally passed, many of the New Home residents, including myself, gave a loud cry of victory,” L.J. Wright wrote on his blog Morning Mercies.

Shane Fiedler, another local resident who attended the meeting, said the ordinance sends a message that their community values life.

“I think the vote is an important step for our families and students of New Home,” Fiedler said. “We are sending a message not just for today, but for 10, 20, 30 years in the future. We are taking a stand against abortion. It is time to call right right and wrong wrong.”

Other Texas cities that have passed Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinances are East MountainWhiteface, Wells, Big SpringRuskWaskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer and Westbrook. Omaha also passed an ordinance but later retracted it and passed a non-enforceable resolution instead.

Pro-lifers in Lubbock also are urging the city council to pass a Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance before Planned Parenthood can open its abortion practice.

The ordinance states: “… the Supreme Court erred in Roe v. Wade, when it said that pregnant women have a constitutional right to abort their unborn children, as there is no language anywhere in the Constitution that even remotely suggests that abortion is a constitutional right . . . constitutional scholars have excoriated Roe v. Wade for its lack of reasoning and its decision to concoct a constitutional right to abortion that has no textual foundation in the Constitution or any source of law.”

Each ordinance includes a public enforcement mechanism and a private enforcement mechanism. 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.

Abortion activists have tried to stop the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort, but, in May, the American Civil Liberties Union dropped its lawsuit challenging seven of the cities’ ordinances.

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