Officials in Springdale, Arkansas have forwarded a resolution to the next City Council Committee meeting that declares their city to be a “Pro-Life City.”
The resolution also is meant to express the sentiment of the city that it would prefer not to have a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in town.
“We’re not trying to stir the pot,” said City Councilman Colby Fulfer, according to Fox 24. “We are respectfully asking them to reconsider a location. It’s not a legally binding resolution that would prevent them from coming. We are simply asking them to reconsider.”
The resolution says its purpose is to affirm “the city of Springdale’s commitment to life” and to designate it as “a Pro-Life City.”
“We are granted inalienable rights by our Creator, among them being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and these inalienable rights have been clearly stated and implemented throughout our Nation’s history, most notably in the Declaration of Independence,” says the document.
“Denying the right to life of a created being is to deny liberty, the pursuit of happiness and all other unalienable rights,” the resolution continues. “Equality takes on its greatest form at the point of creation.”
The document points to the many pro-life pieces of legislation passed by the General Assembly of Arkansas over the years. Additionally, it stresses how the city upholds the rights of citizens at every stage of life – from the unborn to senior citizens.
“Whereas the City of Springdale affirms the value of human life at every stage; … be it resolved … the City of Springdale, Arkansas hereby recognizes and designates itself as Arkansas’s first Pro-Life City,” the resolution states.
“This changes no law,” said Mayor Doug Sprouse, according to the news report. “It just expresses the desires of our city council to promote life.”
“That’s not only talking about unborn life, that’s also talking about our seniors and everyone in between, and we demonstrate that already as a city in what we do through our CDBG program with housing rehab,” he added. “It’s about quality of life for our residents including the unborn, and the council wanted to make that statement.”
Fulfer explained the idea for the resolution came about recently after a Planned Parenthood abortion facility closed down in Fayetteville when its landlord decided not to renew the clinic’s lease, and officials heard the abortion business was looking at possible locations in Springdale.
“What we decided to do was put this resolution forward that points out that we are pro-life in the sense that we believe in life all the way from the beginning to the end,” Fulfer said.
Fox 24 reported that Jess Kelsey, a communications specialist for Planned Parenthood, did not comment specifically on the resolution, but did express that the abortion facility “remains committed to providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care to patients in Northwest Arkansas and we’ll announce when we’re prepared to reopen.”
Fulfer said Planned Parenthood could still open in Springdale if the issue is brought up for debate, but that city officials are “respectfully asking” the abortion vendor to stay away.
“This is more of a statement of conscience, and it certainly is within the council’s right to do that,” Sprouse said. “Cities pass resolutions all the time. We passed a resolution in support of other things, the online sales tax, Washington County expanding their jail.”
“There are areas that we don’t have any say in the laws that dictate, but I think the council believes they reflect our community and those that put them in office and that’s why they supported this,” he added.
While a number of cities across the nation have declared themselves “sanctuary cities” for illegal aliens, which, defy federal immigration law to protect those in the country illegally, pro-life citizens and town councils are just beginning to assert themselves in the area of abortion.
In June, the city of Waskom, Texas, became the first in the nation to ban abortion, declaring itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
Waskom’s declaration was modeled after one passed in Roswell, New Mexico, though Waskom’s ordinance makes it the first city in the nation to actually ban abortions.
The Waskom city council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution and an ordinance to make abortions in the city a criminal offense.
Earlier this year, the city of Riverton, Utah also passed a resolution declaring it a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
According to Jesse Moore, Waskom’s mayor, while the ordinance will not block an abortion clinic from moving into the city, “if they do they’ll be breaking the law.”
The Washington Post reported in July that abortion activists from Austin erected two billboards outside Waskom that read, “Abortion is Freedom,” and include a reference to a website providing information on abortion services in Texas.
Delma Catalina Limones, a communications manager with abortion lobbying group NARAL – which helped fund the billboards – said her group did not contact anyone prior to erecting them.
Some Waskom residents, according to the report, said they were disappointed to see the billboards.
“I think they did it to take a dig at Waskom,” said Jayna Lay. “They send the wrong message in my opinion. ‘Abortion is freedom,’ that’s a messed-up phrase. That’s pretty much saying, ‘Kill your children and you’re free.’ That’s crazy to me.”