• June 16, 2024

Amarillo, Texas, considers ordinance to become ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’

Amarillo could become the latest city in Texas to pass an “abortion trafficking” ordinance as the city’s leaders consider blocking the use of its roads by anyone traveling to get an abortion .

The City Council met earlier this week to discuss the possible ordinance but did not vote on the measure, which would have them become a “sanctuary city for the unborn” and join with the 50 cities and five counties in Texas that have pursued similar measures.


Amarillo leaders also considered a measure to deal with chemical abortion pills.

Several other Texas cities and counties have passed ordinances related to “abortion trafficking,” including Lubbock County, to discourage women from traveling to seek abortions in neighboring states that do not limit the procedure as Texas does.

“Whatever we come back with, it needs to protect life, so if it doesn’t, then maybe we’ve done enough,” Amarillo Mayor Cole Stanley said in the meeting. “But the right measure of enough is what we’re trying to get to. Nobody’s in here saying how they’ll vote, but I would greatly appreciate and much more entertain something that’s limited.”

However, council members disagreed on the scope of the travel restrictions, and Stanley said a final version is unlikely to include a ban but rather a “private right of action that allows for a civil suit.”

Other proposed ordinances on the use of the chemical abortion pill mifepristone and the disposal of human remains earned more complete support among the members of the council.

“I’m trying to prevent that 14-year-old girl from having that drug in her possession when she didn’t see a physician and it wasn’t prescribed to her,” Stanley said. “And she’s attempting to end a pregnancy by herself with all of the trauma and the risk involved and nobody there by her side.”

Texas put a near-total restriction on abortion in place after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court last year. Amarillo is a city in northwest Texas that is likely to see abortion tourism traffic for abortion seekers traveling through it to permissive neighbors like New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.

Some of the Texas ordinances are localized versions of what Idaho has implemented , with the latter barring its residents from crossing state lines to obtain an abortion. That law is controversial because it calls into question the constitutional right to interstate travel. A judge temporarily blocked it earlier this year while litigation takes place.

Amarillo’s potential ordinance, and the similar moves from other cities in the state, come as Texas woman Kate Cox made headlines suing the state to obtain an abortion, although she was ultimately denied by the Texas Supreme Court after failing to meet criteria to get an exception from the state law.

Cox ultimately went to a different state to obtain the abortion.

The city is also the source for the most recent abortion case granted certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court, dealing with the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone.

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