The Carbon City Council voted unanimously to outlaw abortion within city limits by holding those who carry out the procedure liable to the aborted child’s living kin.
Mayor Corey Hull threw enthusiastic support behind the measure, calling to mind the precarious beginning of his own life.
“I was conceived in the back of my mother’s sister’s car by the coming together of my mom and a man who was living on the street who my mother did not even know… One quick thrill led to my conception,” Hull said.
“There was a sweet and kind couple wanting to have another child. She had one child already, and was told by a doctor that she could not have another child without risk of death to her. The lady and her husband applied for adoption… A few short weeks later they received a call from a social worker about a blonde hair, blue-eyed baby boy that had no family, a drug-tainted mind, and had a possible future of great mental problems. They never hesitated… I could have been aborted. The miracle never stops.”
The “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn” initiative, begun by pro-life activist Mark Lee Dickson, has been spreading enforceable abortion bans around the state since 2019. Goldsmith took the 19th spot on the list earlier this month.
The liability measure that allows relatives to sue the abortion performer is only the most immediate method of enforcement. Similar to a proposed statewide abortion ban, the ordinance also allows the city to impose fines if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The city may also impose fines if the fine will not create an undue burden on women seeking abortions or the person who committed the act “lacks standing to assert the third-party rights of women seeking abortions in court.”
“Life starts before breath or even a heard heartbeat. We need voices for the unborn,” said Courtney Carlton, one Carbon resident.
If Carbon or any other “sanctuary” faces a lawsuit for the ordinance, former Solicitor General of Texas Jonathan F. Mitchell has agreed to represent them pro bono.
Pro-life advocates have set their sights on Odessa and Lubbock, two larger towns that have shown hints of favor toward the ordinance. With the support of two members of the city council, Odessa’s mayor has fought to put the ordinance on the city’s agenda. Since the City of Lubbock rejected the ordinance, citizens will decide whether or not to adopt it in an election this May.
The initiative may also spread to Athens, Texas.
“Since Carbon outlawed abortion last night we have received over fifty petitions come in overnight from residents of the City of Athens, which is about 205 miles east of Carbon,” Dickson said.
“We have also had strong interest in the city of Canton, which is about 25 miles north of Athens. We have hundreds of petitions from residents of the City of Canton. We can’t ignore that.”