A movement to protect unborn babies by banning abortions at the city level is spreading across the country.
Wink News reports pro-lifers in Naples, Florida recently began petitioning their city council to enact a Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance.
In March and again last week, people with Action for Life and other pro-life organizations asked the city council to pass the pro-life ordinance, according to the report. Even though the city council voted not to discuss it in March, pro-lifers said they will not give up the effort, the report states.
“We need to stand up for life because without life, nothing else in the world even matters,” said Beth Bohannon with Action for Life. “… we’ve got some interested people, and we’ve got recognition, and I do believe there’s hope here.”
Bohannon and dozens of others held a rally Wednesday outside the Naples City Hall, urging city leaders to protect unborn babies. Several also spoke at the city council meeting, which was being held inside, emphasizing that the matter is one of life and death for innocent children, according to the local news.
“If we are not successful today, we’ll be back in two weeks and two weeks after that,” said Bill Oppenheimer, president of Action for Life. “It will keep pushing it until they hear us and place it on the agenda.”
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To date, 25 cities in Texas and Nebraska have passed Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinances. The 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. It also penalizes abortion practitioners for aborting unborn babies, but it does not penalize women who seek or have abortions.
Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right to Life of East Texas and leader of the Sanctuary for the Unborn initiative, told Father Michael Orsi with Action for Life that thousands of people in Naples want to see abortions outlawed in their city.
“Naples, Florida has an ordinance on their books that protects baby sea turtles,” Dickson said. “Unfortunately, though, [city council members] are not for the idea of passing an ordinance that protects baby unborn human beings made in the image of God. So, there is a great disparity there.”
Dickson told LifeNews earlier this spring that cities in other states also are considering ordinances to protect unborn babies.
“From Naples, Florida to Camden, Tennessee to Marshfield, Missouri to Texarkana, Arkansas — citizens everywhere are realizing that the time to stand up and do something is not later, but right now,” he said.
Residents of Lubbock, Texas also are trying to pass a Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance after Planned Parenthood opened a new abortion facility there last year. In November, the Lubbock City Council rejected the ordinance, but because of a citizen-led petition, residents will have the opportunity to approve the ordinance on the May election ballot.
Abortion activists tried to stop the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort, but, last year, the American Civil Liberties Union dropped its lawsuit challenging seven of the cities’ ordinances.