Two Texas Cities Declare Themselves a ‘Sanctuary City for the Unborn,’ But No Penalties Unless Roe Overturned

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Two small cities in Texas have declared themselves a “sanctuary city for the unborn,” prohibiting abortion facilities from opening within city limits. However, the ordinance also notes that those who illegally commit abortions in violation of the new law will not be punished “unless and until” Roe v. Wade is overturned, and even then, no mother who obtains or performs an abortion may face criminal or civil penalties.

The city councils of Omaha and Naples voted unanimously on Monday to pass the ordinance, which declares abortion — no matter what stage of development — to be an act of murder and entities that perform them to be criminal organizations.

“[A] surgical or chemical abortion is the purposeful and intentional ending of a human life, and is murder ‘with malice aforethought’ since the baby in the womb has its own DNA, and at certain points in pregnancy has its own heartbeat and its own brainwaves,” the ordinance reads in part.

It also declares the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade to be “a lawless and illegitimate act of judicial usurpation, which violates the Tenth Amendment by trampling the reserved powers of the States, and denies the people of each State a Republican form of government by imposing abortion policy through judicial decree.”

The ordinance further bans abortion facilities from renting or purchasing property within city limits, and specifically names organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Whole Woman’s Health, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and the Aifya Center.

However, measure provides the exception of the life of the mother, outlining that “[i]t shall be an affirmative defense … if the abortion was in response to a life-threatening physical condition.” The ordinance also states that those who break the law by performing an abortion despite the sanctuary city declaration will not be punished until the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

“Neither the city … nor any of its officers or employees, nor any district or county attorney, nor any executive or administrative officer or employee of any state or local governmental entity, shall take any steps to enforce this ordinance against a person or entity that commits an unlawful act … unless and until the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade and permits states and municipalities to once again enforce abortion prohibitions,” it reads.

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“[N]o punishment shall be imposed upon the mother of the unborn child that has been aborted, or upon a woman who has purchased emergency contraception solely for her own use in or outside the city of Omaha, Texas,” it further notes, and mothers who obtain abortions or self-abort will also not be subject to liability in civil lawsuits.

Read the ordinance in full here. 

As previously reported, the city of Waskom passed a similar ordinance in June, but with the additional exceptions of rape and incest.

Mark Dickson, pastor of SovereignLOVE Church and co-director of Right to Life East Texas, told Christian News Network at the time that the original draft did not include exceptions, but an attorney added them out of the belief that “it was the best course of action for a case that goes before the [Supreme] Court.”

Dickson advised that he opposes exceptions, as do the others involved with the ordinance, and acknowledged that he had conflicted feelings about the final text as passed by the council. He said that he was still heartened that a city was willing to proactively prohibit abortion facilities from operating within city limits.

“If you allow children to be killed like they are now and continue to be killed, what if someone wants to kill me when I’m old …?”  Morris County Republican Party Chairman Deborah Ramsey told local television station KTAL.

Romans 13:4 says that those in civil government are “the minister of God” for good and “a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”


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