An Arkansas county approved a pro-life resolution Thursday to encourage mothers to choose life for their unborn babies.

ABC 40 29 KHBS reports the Washington County Quorum Court voted 10-4 to make their county the first in Arkansas to declare itself a “Pro-life County.”

“Somewhere out there tonight, there’s a woman in conflict and facing an uncertain future,” said Justice of the Peace Patrick Deakins, who introduced the resolution. “May she know, through the voice of this resolution and our county as a whole, she and her child are loved and that help is out there. Choose life.”

Deakins said he hopes their action will encourage other counties to take a stand for life, too.

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According to the local news, the meeting was crowded with pro-life and pro-abortion activists who spoke for and against the resolution; and one person was removed from the meeting.

Angela Williams, who described herself as a ordained Presbyterian pastor and local resident, told the court that she opposes the resolution because she is “pro-lives.”

“God does not hate abortion. Abortion saves lives, and God blesses people who have abortions,” Williams told the board.

But Nicole Johnson, a local resident and pregnancy resource center volunteer, thanked the court for taking a stand for life. Johnson said she has seen the grief and sadness that women experience after an abortion.

“No one shames them, no one has to,” Johnson said. “You see, they shame themselves, regrettably, for the rest of their lives. … I have never met a woman who regretted giving life either through parenting or adoption, but sadly to say, every woman who I have talked with had regret, remorse and a broken, wounded heart after abortion.”

Several times when local pro-life residents were speaking, the court had to call order because of pro-abortion people interrupting them.

A few court members also spoke out against the resolution, including Justice of the Peace Eva Madison.

“I think that woman out there making that very difficult decision doesn’t want any of our input,” Madison said.

She told the court that they should go to the state legislature in Little Rock if they want to “legislate on abortion,” according to the report.

But the resolution that Washington County passed is a statement; it does not have legal power. It simply sends a clear message that the county wants unborn babies to be protected.

“Washington County, Arkansas, declares itself to be a Pro Life County, committed to the protection of all lives, including the lives of the unborn,” the resolution states. “… it is the duty of governments, such as ours, to protect this unalienable right to life of every person within our jurisdiction.”

Deakins said they just want to help mothers and babies and make sure they know the community will support them.

“People want to make it into taking someone’s choice or right away in fact it’s the opposite. I want expectant mothers and families who might be experiencing a crisis or indetermination about their situation to seek help we have resources in this area,” he said.

Over the past several years, dozens of local governments across the United States have passed pro-life resolutions and ordinances to protect unborn babies from abortion.

To date, 33 cities in Texas, Nebraska and Ohio have passed ordinances to ban abortions through the Sanctuary City for the Unborn initiative, and pro-life leaders said even more cities are considering action this summer. Unlike resolutions, ordinances are enforceable legislation.

In a huge victory for life earlier this spring, voters in Lubbock, Texas overwhelmingly passed a pro-life ordinance to ban abortions in their city. The vote resulted in Planned Parenthood stopping abortions there. The abortion chain did sue the city, but a judge recently dismissed its lawsuit.

Other local governments also have passed pro-life resolutions in recent years, including Prattville, Alabama; Roswell, New Mexico; Batavia and Putnam County, New York; Riverton and Highland, Utah; and the city of Springdale, Arkansas.

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