ODESSA, Texas — In a 5-1 vote with one abstaining, the Odessa City Council voted to make the city a sanctuary city for the unborn on Nov. 22.
According to the agenda, this was the first approval. There is no word at this time on when the ordinance will be brought up for another discussion.
During the meeting, five people came out to speak in favor of the ordinance. One of those included Mark Lee Dickson, Director of Right to Life East Texas initiative that encourages cities to declare themselves sanctuary cities.
One woman drove as far as Hobbs to express her hopes that Odessa would stand with her own town in making Odessa a fellow sanctuary city.
City Council member Stephen Thompson, who represents District 2, was the only no vote. Thompson cited that he believed it would be pushing his religious beliefs and that Texas had already spoken on the matter with its Heartbeat bill.
Mayor Javier Joven has been pushing for the city to become a sanctuary city since he was elected in 2020.
The ordinance has been on the council agenda before, but no action was taken.
Other nearby cities who have recently passed this kind of ordinance include Abilene, San Angelo and Lubbock.
NewsWest 9 will continue to follow this story as it develops.