Last Tuesday, the City of Nazareth (population 311), located about 60 miles southwest of Amarillo, became the latest Texas city to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion within their city limits.

“After the process was presented and questions were answered, the city council unanimously approved the ordinance to the huge round of applause by the 56 residents who came out in support of the movement,” Mayor Marlin Durbin said. The vote made Nazareth the 36th city in Texas, and the 39th city in the nation, to pass the enforceable ordinance.

“The ordinance shows the importance our citizens place on the sanctity and sacredness of all life, especially the unborn, who have no voice,” Durbin said. “All life must be protected and respected from conception ’til natural death. Today’s decision allows the ‘faith in God’ that our community professes to be put into action for generations to come, by taking a stand for life.”

The support from the Nazareth community was strong, with many proclaiming how proud they were of city council’s action. “The church bells were singing ‘Hallelujah’ as we walked out!” Lisa Schulte exclaimed. “This lets our girls and our children know how we respect life,” Mary Lou Schmucker said.

The Nazareth Ordinance Outlawing Abortion 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 Nazareth, Texas,” and, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the City of Nazareth, Texas.” 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.”

It also outlaws abortion-inducing drugs. These are defined in the ordinance as “mifepristone, misoprostol, and any drug or medication that is used to terminate the life of an unborn child.”

If the city of Nazareth sees any lawsuits for the passage of the ordinance, attorney Jonathan F. Mitchell has agreed to represent them at no expense to the city or their taxpayers.

Located in Castro County, Nazareth is well known as a conservative city. The majority of Castro County’s voting population are conservative Republicans who wish to see abortion outlawed in Texas.

During the 2020 presidential election, 76.9 percent (1,602) of Castro County voters voted Republican, 22.4 percent (466) voted Democrat, and 0.7 percent (15) voted for other candidates. During the 2016 presidential election, 70.8 percent (1,414) voted Republican, 26.3 percent (526) voted Democrat, and 2.9 percent (57) voted for other candidates. During the 2018 Republican Party primary in Castor County, voters had the opportunity to vote on Proposition 7, which read, “I believe abortion should be abolished in Texas.” Out of 598 votes, 447 voted in favor and 151 voted against.

Nazareth was the second city in the Texas Panhandle to vote on an ordinance outlawing abortion. The Tulia City Council considered a similar ordinance outlawing abortion on September 14, but it died for a lack of a motion.

Since Nazareth’s vote, interest has already been expressed by residents in several other cities throughout the Panhandle, including Groom (population 574), Pampa (population 18,401), Plainview (population 22,343), and Amarillo (population 199,924).

Those who wish to see their city become a Sanctuary City for the Unborn are encouraged to begin the process by signing the online petition at

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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.