On June 9, the city council of Sundown, Texas (population 1,397), located about 40 miles southwest of Lubbock and 15 miles southwest of Levelland, voted on an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits. It passed on a vote of 4-1 and solidified Sundown as the 31st city in the nation to outlaw abortion.

“God has chosen us for a time such as this. I am proud that my community and our council stand behind the right to life,” Mayor Jonathan Strickland shared.

The Sundown ordinance states, “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 Sundown, Texas,” and, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the City of Sundown, Texas.”

Residents throughout the city, whose school has the iconic Joe Roughneck as a mascot, did not hesitate to stand behind and publicly applaud their city council’s decision.

“I could not be more proud to be a Roughneck tonight,” Sundown resident Matthew Nichols shared. “Knowing that Sundown has taken a righteous stand, in the midst of an ungodly era, gives me a great deal of peace.”

“Unborn babies are the most blameless among us,” he continued. “I can’t express the relief found in knowing innocent blood will never be spilled in Sundown. Much Kudos to Mayor Jonathan Strickland and our city council members for vindicating life.”

Sundown is the second city to pass the ordinance in Hockley County this week. Levelland (population 14,582) passed its ordinance on Monday.

The fact that both cities would not want abortion in their communities should not be surprising. An overwhelming majority of those who vote in Hockley County, 80.7 percent, cast their ballot for the Republican candidate in the 2020 election.

The majority of these voters are conservative Republicans who want to see abortion outlawed in the state of Texas. During the 2018 election, voters in Hockley County’s Republican Party primary had the opportunity to vote on Proposition 7, which offered voters the opportunity to voice whether they were “in favor” of or “against” the following statement: “I believe abortion should be abolished in Texas.” Out of 2,197 votes, 1,683 voted in favor, with only 514 voting against.

It can be argued that if the majority of Hockley County voters want to see abortion outlawed in their state, that most certainly means they want to see abortion outlawed in their county and cities as well.

The Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative changed the playing field in the fight for life and led the Republican Party of Texas to make supporting the movement an official plank of their 2020 Republican Party platform. It was adopted by 92.3 percent of delegates and states, “We support the right of Texas municipalities to protect mothers and preborn children in their communities by passing enforceable city ordinances that ban abortions and abortion industry businesses within their city limits.”

Sundown was not the only city whose leaders were being asked to consider outlawing abortion.

About 370 miles southwest of Sundown, a resident from Crawford, Texas (population 733), approached his city council. Speaking of the nearby Planned Parenthood in Waco, Dennis Daniel shared, “Planned Parenthood designed, built, and established a new facility and planted it right in the neighborhood where I grew up. This was in spite of the faithful leanings of the citizens.”

“Either the city council or city management failed to protect the community from this affront,” he continued. “Planned Parenthood kills over a thousand babies a year in the Waco facility. That is like approving the death of the entire Crawford community.”

“I am requesting that the city council consider and enact an ordinance which would declare Crawford a Sanctuary City,” Daniel told council members.

“There is a movement underway for cities to declare themselves Sanctuaries for the Unborn. By city ordinance, cities and towns are establishing the rule of law so that abortionists and providers of abortion services can be penalized within their city jurisdiction … with the recent influx of new residents into McLennan County, it may be only a matter of time before our faith-filled beliefs are challenged. The time to sit back and pray yet take little action is past.”

Crawford isn’t the only area where clamoring to become a sanctuary city is being heard.

In late May, a Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn interest meeting, hosted by the Concho Valley Biblical Counseling Center, was held at Heartland Baptist Church in San Angelo, Texas (pop. 101,004).

More than 150 residents from San Angelo attended the noon meeting. Pastor Ryan Buck of Immanuel Baptist Church attributes the turnout to how much the people of San Angelo are against the idea of abortion. “This is not the first meeting with a high turnout that we have had, nor will it be our last.” Pastor Buck said, “Planned Parenthood has gone on record stating that they want to see abortion services return to San Angelo. With appreciation of the conservative nature of West Texas, we cannot sit by idly and just wait for them to come here.”

The vast majority of San Angelo is against abortion, and there is strong support in our city to do whatever is necessary to keep Planned Parenthood from intentionally causing innocent children to die.

Faith Montgomery, a high school student in Dickinson, Texas (pop. 21,129) is also wanting to see her city become a Sanctuary City for the Unborn. “I am very passionate about this. I would love to see abortion outlawed in Dickinson, Texas,” she said. “I want to see abortion outlawed because I believe that every life has intrinsic value. Abortion has many negative effects on women.” An interest meeting to consider what it would look like for Dickinson to outlaw abortion is being planned for later this summer.

Other cities where the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative is expected to be discussed in the near future include the Texas cities of Centerville (pop. 892), Eastland (pop. 3,970), Athens (pop. 13,121), and Tyler (pop. 109,000).

Mark Lee Dickson

Mark Lee Dickson is a director with Right to Life of East Texas and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative.