Brownsboro (population 1,036) has become the 34th city in Texas, and 37th in the nation, to pass an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits.

Brownsboro, located 90 miles southeast of Dallas and about 20 miles southwest of Tyler, is one of 20 incorporated cities in Henderson County, a county that polled about 80 percent Republican in the 2020 presidential election. Following Murchison and Poynor, Brownsboro is the third city in Henderson County that has passed an ordinance outlawing abortion.

In a packed Brownsboro City Hall, the ordinance passed by a vote of 3-1. Brownsboro Mayor Dusty Wise told the Tyler Morning Telegraph, “It just seemed like a logical thing to do because, first of all, it protects unborn life and I think that’s an important thing.”

The Brownsboro 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 Brownsboro, Texas,” and, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the City of Brownsboro, Texas.” It also treats abortion-inducing drugs as contraband.

The 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 term does not include birth-control devices or oral contraceptives. An act is not an abortion if it is done with the intent to “save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child; remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by accidental miscarriage; or remove an ectopic pregnancy.”

In addition to outlawing abortion, the ordinance also outlaws abortion-inducing drugs, defining them as “mifepristone, misoprostol, and any drug or medication that is used to terminate the life of an unborn child.” The ordinance is clear that this definition does not include “birth-control devices or oral contraceptives, and it does not include Plan B, morning-after pills, or emergency contraception.” Also not included are “drugs or medications that are processed or distributed for a purpose that does not include the termination of a pregnancy.”

A few years prior, during the 2018 Republican Party primary election, Henderson County voters had the opportunity to vote for or against this proposition: “I believe abortion should be abolished in the State of Texas.” Out of 10,028 votes, 7,183 voted in favor of the statement and 2,845 voted against.

Seventeen other cities and towns in Henderson County could pass a similar ordinance.

The vote makes Brownsboro the 15th city in East Texas to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits.

On Tuesday, about 350 miles west of Brownsboro, residents of San Angelo (pop. 101,612) approached their city council with more than 4,000 petition signatures requesting an ordinance outlawing abortion be brought up for a vote by council members. By the end of that meeting, the majority of council members agreed it should be added to the next council agenda.

San Angelo will not be alone in considering this measure. In the next several weeks, city officials from more cities throughout Texas will also consider passing an ordinance outlawing abortion and adding their city to the growing number of Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn.

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

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.