ODESSA, Texas — "Sanctuary cities for the unborn."
These cities have ordinances that essentially outlaw the termination of a pregnancy within city limits. The ordinances do not supersede federal law, which does allow abortion.
In September 2021, the state of Texas banned the termination of a pregnancy after six weeks of gestation.
Abilene, Texas is one of the latest cities trying to implement ordinances like the ones in Lubbock or Big Spring.
Over the weekend, Javier Joven, Mayor of Odessa and Shannon Thomason, Mayor of Big Spring, met with Abilene residents to encourage them in their effort to see abortion outlawed in the city.
"I offered recommendations and advice on my part from having been there and done in Big Spring," said Thomason. "Other things like what issues we have seen in the aftermath came up, which there hasn't been many."
Thomason said Big Spring outlawed abortion in January 2020 after people approached the city council. He said that this is not the case happening in Abilene.
"Their city council hasn't considered the question and so now their citizens are circulating petitions under their Charter Right of Initiative and Referendum," said Thomason. "This will allow them to have it placed in the ballot for an election. This is very similar to what happened in Lubbock."
As for Odessa, the ordinance has not passed but the mayor is showing support for the people in Abilene.
"In September or October, I did ask for a consensus of vote at a work session to place on the agenda for consideration of the council to vote in favor of calling an election for this," said Joven. "It was voted down 4-3, so people in Abilene had questions about their efforts."
Mayor Joven said there is no immediate plan to bring this idea to a city council work session again to place it on the agenda and to call for an election.