Midlothian Council Passes Ordinance Declaring Sanctuary City For Unborn

Midlothian City Council
Top left Mike Rogers, Mayor Justin Coffman, Ed Gardner, (front row, from left) Clark Wyckliffe, Hud Hartson, Anna Hammonds and Allen Moorman. Photo courtesy City of MIdlothian

The agenda for Tuesday night’s Council meeting included a discussion on Midlothian passing an ordinance prohibiting abortion, requested by Place 5 Ed Gardner. Nineteen citizens filled out forms to make comments during this portion of the meeting. Due to constraints of time and space, only some of the initial comments made by citizens will be provided in this article.

With a standing-room-only crowd, those in attendance only showed emotion when it was suggested the item be put on the ballot to allow voters to decide. Mayor Justin Coffman said there were originally 33 people who had written in with public comment in opposition and 14 who had written in supporting the ordinance.

A discussion of when the moment of conception left a void since one person said it is a philosophical question, and who is going to play God?

Public Comments

“Fix the potholes before you take on reproductive rights,” stated Francis Bishop during public comments about the city’s municipal government passing an ordinance outlawing abortion and declaring Midlothian a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.

Randy Pedloski said it was his opinion that the state had already taken a position therefore anything the city would do would be redundant.

Tiffany Carra said, “What is right is not always easy, and what is easy is not always right … Midlothian is not the place for an abortion clinic – never has been.” She continued by asking how it would be enforced and whether it would lead to neighbors telling on neighbors. She then provided an example of someone who lives in another city who was told her fetus was not viable. She was in a great deal of pain and went to a medical facility. They told her regardless of her condition and her pain, they could do nothing. As her pain mounted, she went to another state which performed the necessary procedure of removing the lifeless fetus.

Ms. Carra later provided a written statement to Focus Daily News as follows: “This could have been accomplished many different ways that don’t include a flimsy text message promise from a PAC to cover legal fees. I do not know how we claim to be conservative but make overarching laws putting civil bounties on neighbors’ heads. This won’t save lives, it will divide our town and pit neighbor against neighbor. If you want more criminals, make more laws.”

Cecil Pool told the Council, “I strongly object to the Sanctuary City ordinance. To me, it seems to be simply pandering to an extreme political and religious ideology.”

Dannion McLendon said, “Let me make this clear: I do not believe in abortions.” He went on to present a number of ways that women and families should be taken care of in many other ways when complications might arise due to pregnancies. He continued that the primary duty of the council should be to work for the common good of the people.

Ms. Rose said, “I respectfully urge the council to vote no on this ordinance.” She continued that the issue seems to be a political basketball used as a means to gain a seat on the council. “This item is something that should be voted on by all and not decided by seven members of the city council.” She continued stating that part of the ordinance would empower private citizens to help enforce the ordinance and that the city encourages all citizens to report these criminal activities.

Jennifer Bermell began by sharing her long history as a healthcare provider for women. She said one out of five women would be raped during their lifetime. She concluded her statement by saying, “I ask why the council is allowed to practice medicine when I, as a health care provider, am not allowed to.”

It was mentioned by a resident that the state already has a very restrictive abortion law in place; therefore, this ordinance is redundant, confusing, and divisive. She continued that the ordinance could cause legal action, which could prove exceptionally costly for the taxpayers.

When the citizen’s comments portion of the meeting was over, the council went into executive session and then returned to discuss the matter among themselves.

The item eventually passed after hours of public comment and city council discussion.

Councilman Gardner made the motion to pass the item after a failed attempt by Mayor Pro Tem Clark Wickliffe to deny the item’s passing. Gardner had first made a motion to pass with amendments, but when Place 1 Allen Moorman asked for an amendment to that motion, the council went into Executive Session a second time during the evening for discussion. When the body returned to their seats at the dais, Gardner made the motion again, this time with no amendments.

The ordinance passed 5 – 2, with councilpeople Wickliffe and Moorman voting against it.

Place 3 Anna Hammonds did ask a number of questions prior to the vote regarding aiding and abetting and the Plan B drug.

Wickliffe pointed out when discussing the ordinance before the vote in relation to healthcare professionals, “Threat of litigation determines how a physician practices.”

Moorman also asked how many abortions had been performed in Midlothian, and the answer was zero to anyone’s knowledge.

Government overreach was suggested, as well as the need for municipal governments to stay in their lane. To that point, Wickliffe went on to suggest a zoning ordinance to prevent abortion clinics from being able to set up shop in Midlothian would be much more within the reach of a municipal government.

Wickliffe also stated the ordinance, which passed Tuesday night, does nothing to stop an abortion clinic from setting up in Midlothian, thus his suggestion for a zoning ordinance instead.

While it was said that 50 cities and five counties had passed an ordinance like the one presented to Midlothian, it took a second person to point out that what failed to be mentioned was over 1000 cities in Texas had not passed the ordinance.