MINERAL WELLS, Texas — The council of a small town in Texas has voted against an ordinance that sought to declare the town a “sanctuary for the unborn.” The proposal had been requested by the mayor to prevent the murder of unborn children, but the council feared the cost of a potential lawsuit.
“Why are we in [office] if we are not going to deal with the tough issues before us?” Mineral Wells Mayor Christopher Perricone asked the town council, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Perricone had asked the city manager to add the matter to Tuesday’s order of business, but the city attorney told the council that banning abortion facilities from opening in the municipality would conflict with federal law. He discouraged the council from passing the proposal.
There are no abortion facilities in Mineral Wells, but the ordinance was to serve as a preemptive measure following the passage of a similar law in Waskom, Texas.
“Abortion at all times and at all stage of pregnancy is declared to be an act of murder with malice aforethought,” the Waskom ordinance states, and “[o]rganizations that perform abortions and assist others in obtaining abortions are declared to be criminal organizations.”
“If we’re going to take the stance that we believe that life begins at conception, that our duty as elected officials is to protect that life, then I feel that we need to take this strongest stand possible,” Perricone told Fox4 News.
However, some council members feared that passing the prohibition could land the town in court. According to the Star-Telegram, Councilman Brian Shoemaker asked Perricone if he was willing to place Mineral Wells in the midst of a legal battle. Perricone replied in the affirmative, but Shoemaker opposed the idea.
“I believe it’s our duty to protect unborn lives,” Perricone contended.
“It’s our duty to protect the city from being involved in a lawsuit that would be very costly,” Shoemaker argued.
The council consequently voted 5-2 behind closed doors against the ordinance. Local residents voiced their various views following the vote — although most were in favor of passing the pro-life preemptive measure.
“Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. It was reaffirmed in 1993. So what you are proposing is unconstitutional and we will oppose you,” one woman stated.
“Mayor, I dare you to tell me you own my body like my rapist did. Because I told my rapist no,” another remarked.
“It’s disgusting that there’s this place in Fort Worth that I can visit where I know that babies go in there and they never come out,” one resident stated.
“Who knows what blessings the Lord has waiting to pour out on an entire city who is willing to take a stand for what He values most out of all of His creation — human life?” also declared a woman who operates a pregnancy resource center.
“I feared coming here today, losing friends and stirring up trouble for myself and my family. But, I was reminded of this, and I want to remind the citizens of Mineral Wells this from Romans 8:31: If God is for us, who can be against us?”