The Biden Administration is working to expand abortion access nationwide, as the president has said he does not want someone’s zip code to keep them from care. However, opponents have started a new approach to stop this.
Dozens of towns and cities have recently declared themselves “sanctuary cities for the unborn.”
They say they are not waiting for states to act, and instead, they are passing ordinances at the municipal level, outlawing abortions in city limits, and they want it to spread to other parts of the country.
“It’s important for people here to protect life from conception to natural death,” said Kim Primavera, town chair of Hayes Center, Nebraska.
On April 6, the town of less than 300 people voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that bans abortion access within its city limits. The law places a $500 fine on anyone who tries to access an abortion facility or receives pills through the mail.
“We don’t want outsiders to bring that possibility of something like that to happen to our community,” said town trustee Nikki Hamilton, who also voted yes on the measure.
Since Hayes Center banned abortions, four more cities have passed similar measures, bringing the number of these cities in the country to 28. Twenty-six of them reside in Texas, while two are in Nebraska.
Most are small municipalities with only a few hundred or thousand residents, but with more than 260,000, and the only one of these cities with an abortion facility within its limits is, Lubbock, Texas, which became the largest of the 28 when it passed its ordinance outlawing abortions at the start of May.
“Whether it’s a small city or a large city, all cities need to do everything they can to make sure babies are not ever going to be murdered in their city and so that’s why these cities are standing up,” said Mark Lee Dickson, founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative.
Dickson helped Waskom, Texas become the first town in the country to outlaw abortion in 2019. He says the measures are used to prevent mobile clinics and abortion pills from making their way into these towns
“If you take the Biden threat seriously, then how are you going to respond? These cities wanted to protect their zip code,” he said.
Here, in Hayes Center, that protection goes deeper as it transcends morality and affects something that has affected some who call this place home
“There’s not a lot. There’s a handful of people in the community that have struggled to have babies, that have struggled with miscarriages and premature deaths, and it just breaks your heart,” said Hamilton. “Knowing that you can save that or give it to someone else who has that chance, it makes it all worth it.”