Goldsmith, located about 20 miles northwest of Odessa in Ector County, has become the 19th city in the nation to pass an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits.

The vote at Goldsmith City Hall was unanimous.

The Goldsmith Ordinance defines abortion as:

The act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant.

The Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance, which immediately went into effect Wednesday night, states, “Abortion at all times and at all stages of pregnancy is declared to be an act of murder,” and, “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.”

“It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the City of Goldsmith, Texas,” it continues. “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the City of Goldsmith, Texas.”

Within the Goldsmith ordinance are two major enforcement mechanisms: the public enforcement mechanism, called the “delayed enforcement mechanism,” and the private enforcement mechanism, called the “immediate enforcement mechanism.”

The public enforcement mechanism establishes fines against the abortionist, and anyone who aids and abets him, for any abortion which takes place within the city limits from the time the ordinance was adopted.

The penalties mentioned in the ordinance cannot be imposed unless the “individual seeking to impose the penalty … has determined that the imposition or threatened imposition of this penalty … will not create an ‘undue burden’ on women seeking abortions,” or the “person, corporation, or entity who committed the unlawful act … lacks standing to assert the third-party rights of women seeking abortions in court.” Another exception is if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

The private enforcement mechanism, on the other hand, is not dependent upon Roe v. Wade being overturned and is immediately enforceable.

The ordinance states, “Any person, corporation, or entity that commits an unlawful … other than the mother of the unborn child that has been aborted, shall be liable in tort to a surviving relative of the aborted unborn child, including the unborn child’s mother, father, grandparents, siblings or half-siblings.”

The ordinance goes on to say, “The person or entity that committed the unlawful act shall be liable to each surviving relative of the aborted unborn child for: (a) Compensatory damages, including damages for emotional distress; (b) Punitive damages; and (c) Costs and attorneys’ fees.”

Section F-4 states:

Private enforcement … may be brought against any person, corporation, or entity that commits an unlawful act … upon the effective date of the ordinance, regardless of whether the Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), or Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), and regardless of whether the current jurisprudence of the Supreme Court permits states and municipalities to punish those who violate abortion prohibitions.

Upon hearing the news Wednesday night, several mayors from other cities in the Permian Basin weighed in on the decision.

Mayor Shannon Thomason of the City of Big Spring, which is the largest city to have outlawed abortion and the closest one to Goldsmith, called the news “fantastic!” Mayor Thomason said, “We at Big Spring are always encouraged to see additional cities join in the fight to save the unborn. Our thanks and appreciation go out to Goldsmith!”

Mayor Javier Joven of Odessa was also encouraged. “When I heard the news of Goldsmith outlawing abortion, I was thrilled for the residents of Goldsmith,” he said. “Their mayor and city council have taken a strong stand for life, determining that their city is going to be a city of life.”

“Their vote is a reflection of the godly people that reside in Goldsmith, who have not forsaken their morals and regard abortion as murder—the taking of an innocent life made in the image of God,” Joven continued. “The unanimous vote in Goldsmith is encouraging, and I am hopeful that in the future we see the same type of ordinance pass here in Odessa, Texas.” Odessa is located about 20 miles southeast of Goldsmith.

Mayors were not the only ones outside of Goldsmith who were celebrating the city’s historic vote. Residents across Texas with hopes of seeing abortion outlawed in their own cities also welcomed the news.

“Praise God that Goldsmith has passed a city ordinance banning abortion,” said Pastor Randy Redkey of Latexo Baptist Church. “It is wonderful that cities across Texas are protecting the lives of the unborn.”

“As a pastor, I am encouraging my church to fill out petitions so that my city of Latexo can be one of the next sanctuary cities for the unborn,” he continued. Latexo, located in Houston County, is about 500 miles east of the City of Goldsmith.

Brittanie Nichole Fortune of Lubbock shared, “I am so truly proud of my grandfather, Goldsmith City Councilman Robert Clinton, and my hometown of Goldsmith, Texas, for wearing the badge of pro-life on their hearts so boldly.”

Fortune continued, “I look forward to rejoicing in the harvest that so many people have planted in our city already, and I pray to see Lubbock become a sanctuary for the unborn in our near future.”

While Lubbock City Council voted down an ordinance outlawing abortion in November, the citizens will have the opportunity to vote on May 1, 2021, as part of the initiative and referendum process allowed by the Lubbock City Charter.

While Goldsmith is now the most recent city to have outlawed abortion, it most certainly will not be the last.

For more information about the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, visit www.sanctuarycitiesfortheunborn.com

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.