La. town uses Texas method to enforce abortion ban, prohibits anyone from helping its residents get abortions anywhere
POLLOCK, La. (KALB) - The Pollock town council has passed an ordinance in a 4-1 vote, essentially banning abortion in city limits.
“We want to say that we will never allow abortion in the town of Pollock. Not now, not ever. Innocent blood will not be shed on our soil,” said Brian Gunter, pastor of First Baptist Church of Pollock.
Although Pollock is the first city in Louisiana to pass such an ordinance, Louisiana is the 46th state in the nation to do so.
Unlike a resolution, an ordinance is enforceable.
“Abortion facilities cannot set up shop here in this city and murder innocent children born in the image of God. Can’t do that,” said Mark Lee Dickson, founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative. “The abortion pill cannot be sent into the town of Pollock either. It’s against the law. Just like you can’t have ammo shipped into New Orleans, you can’t have the abortion pill shipped into Pollock.”
Although Pollock does not have an abortion clinic within city limits, it will also be illegal to provide for an abortion in other ways, like providing transportation to a facility, giving a pregnant woman money to facilitate an abortion or giving referrals to an abortion provider. The ordinance does not, however, outlaw birth control or oral contraceptives, like the morning-after pill.
For the time being, the government entity of Pollock cannot enforce the ordinance until Roe v. Wade is overturned or a declaratory judgment of a state or federal court allows them to do so. If that happens, anyone who violates the ordinance will be fined $500 and imprisoned for 60 days.
However, there is an avenue for immediate enforcement, which would make the ordinance go into effect, at least in part. This is the avenue of citizen enforcement. It outlaws providing insurance coverage for abortion and allows for private citizens to bring civil lawsuits against a person or entity committing, intending to commit or assisting in the committing of abortion.
For Mayor Douglas Beavers, this is a deeply personal issue, one he believes God intended him to be in office for.
“I had a baby in 2021,” said Beavers. “She passed away, and before we had the child, they had given my wife the option of an abortion, and we decided against it. And that little girl touched more people’s lives than most people do in a lifetime.”
However, it is also a deeply personal issue to some opponents, as well, including city councilwoman Cindy Dickey.
“It’s between me and God,” said Dickey. “What God and I talk about, that is a complete separation of church and state. I think a lot of things in this rule are good, but the resolution goes way too far.”
Others, like Michelle Erenburg with Lift Louisiana, reiterated abortion is still legal in the state.
“This effort is being pushed by people with a radical, anti-government agenda that is dangerous for our country,” said Erenburg. “But it also confuses and stigmatizes people seeking abortions so that they are afraid to access the care they need. Care that is a constitutionally protected right.”
Any potential litigation arising from the town’s passage of this ordinance will be taken on free of charge by Mitchell Law PLLC in Austin, Texas.
Full Ordinance from the Town of Pollock:
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