Riverton, Utah, has declared itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
The city council voted Tuesday night to support a resolution declaring that life begins “at the moment of conception” and that the unborn could be safe in Riverton. The council also said it would oppose any reduction in current laws restricting abortion, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Utah, home of the socially conservative Mormon church, has advanced other pro-life policies, including a ban on Down Syndrome abortions The state has also mandated that doctors performing late-term abortions must provide pain killers to the fetus.
The resolution was sponsored by Councilwoman Tawnee McCay, who delivered an emotional appeal for support for the resolution that establishes “the community as a ‘sanctuary city for the unborn,'” which was answered by applause from the crowd, according to the Tribune. (RELATED: 75 Percent Of Americans Support Restrictions On Abortion)
“Every baby is welcome in Riverton,” McCay said in her resolution at the meeting. “Some have asked why we should do this at a city level. Some people say a resolution has no teeth — it’s not a state law or city ordinance. I say that we each need to stand up for our values. We need to speak up for the repressed or those that are never given the chance to have a voice.”
Abortion continues to be a lightning rod for debate across the United States, with recent criticism and pro-life efforts focused on ending late-term abortion.
President Donald Trump has asserted his support for banning that practice, saying at the 2019 State of the Union Address, “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.”
The council invited public comment on the resolution, which largely focused on abortion being a moral wrong, though some did question whether a city council was in a legal position to promote or discourage pro-life policies. Riverton citizen Jeanette Colbert, who opposed becoming a sanctuary city for the unborn, said the resolution was dividing the community. (RELATED: Alabama House Votes To Ban Abortion In Nearly All Circumstances)
“I am really upset because it makes anybody who says, ‘I don’t think that this is a city issue for abortion,’ it makes it sound like we don’t care about life,” she said, according to the Tribune.
There was at least one other detractor, who also argued that legislating abortion policy was not the jurisdiction of a city council.
But public support was apparently overwhelming as many voices rejoiced at the initiative. Diane Fischer called the decision a way to provide a “voice to the voiceless and a voice for the defenseless,” while Carol Manning said it is a city council’s “constitutional obligation to protect the lives” of the fetus.