Hillsdale, Michigan, to Introduce Ordinance Outlawing Abortion Within City Limits

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The city of Hillsdale, Michigan — home of Hillsdale College — will take up an ordinance at its city council meeting Monday that, if enacted, would make Hillsdale a “sanctuary city for the unborn” and outlaw abortion within city limits.

“Over 400 residents, in just a matter of days, have signed petitions stating that they want this for their city,” Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, said in a statement sent to Breitbart News.

“This decision really should be a no-brainer for the Mayor and City Council,” Dickson added. “We are living during a time where the radical Biden Administration has committed to abortion access in every single zip code in America. I hope that the leadership of Hillsdale, Michigan will do their part to pass this ordinance and prevent the Biden Administration from fulfilling that promise in Hillsdale, Michigan.”

Dickson said he was contacted by Hillsdale Right to Life and has been working on the initiative in Hillsdale.

State Rep. Andrew Fink (R) released a statement Friday in support of the Hillsdale City Council ordinance:

The premise of this measure is simple: no longer would abortion procedures or abortion-inducing drugs be legal within the city bounds of Hillsdale. Our area is deeply rooted in family values and our people are longstanding defenders of the sanctity of life and the right to life that every U.S. citizen is entitled, including those still in the womb. I’m proud of our community and its steadfast support for the human rights of our defenseless unborn population.

“I commend the members of the Hillsdale City Council for taking up this issue to defend the lives of the unborn and encourage them to adopt this ordinance that reflects the crucial values of the local citizens they represent,” Fink added.

The Hillsdale ordinance, which was sent to Breitbart News by Dickson, states:

The City Council finds that:

(1) Human life begins at conception.

(2) Abortion is a murderous act of violence that purposefully and knowingly terminates an unborn human life.

(3) Unborn human beings are entitled to the full and equal protection of the laws that prohibit violence against other human beings.

(4) The State of Michigan has never repealed its pre–Roe v. Wade statutes that outlaw and criminalize abortion unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the mother … Elective abortion therefore remains a felony criminal offense under Michigan law.

(5) The law of Michigan also imposes felony criminal liability on any person who aids or abets an abortion, unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the mother.

“The City Council of Hillsdale finds it necessary to supplement the existing state-law prohibitions on abortion with its own prohibitions on abortion, and to empower city officials and private citizens to enforce these prohibitions to the maximum extent permitted by state law and the Constitution,” the ordinance continues.

The council also “urges all residents of Hillsdale to regard those who aid or abet elective abortions in Michigan as criminals, consistent with the abortion laws of Michigan, and to report their criminal activities to the relevant prosecuting attorneys for investigation and criminal prosecution.”

According to a fact sheet about the Hillsdale, Michigan, ordinance, also sent by Dickson, if enacted, it would “immediately outlaw abortion within the city limits.”

“The Ordinance is clear that the term does not include birth-control devices or oral contraceptives,” the document states. “The Ordinance is also clear that the act is not an abortion if the act is done with the intent to ‘save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child’ or ‘remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by accidental miscarriage’ or ‘remove an ectopic pregnancy.’”

The document notes as well one other exception in the Hillsdale ordinance for cases in which the mother’s life is at risk:

This is listed as an affirmative defense and falls upon the one performing the abortion to provide that defense if necessary. This is outlined by the ordinance as abortions in cases where the abortion is “in response to a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy that, as certified by a physician, places the woman in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless an abortion is performed.”

The ordinance, if enacted, would also outlaw abortion-inducing drugs, declaring them to be “contraband.”

“The Hillsdale, Michigan Ordinance, like the other Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn ordinances, is enforceable,” the document continues, observing violators of the ordinance would be subject to a fine of $500 and imprisonment for 90 days.

The penalty, however, does not apply to the mother of the unborn child.

“Under no circumstance may the penalty be imposed on the mother of the unborn child that has been aborted, or the pregnant woman who seeks to abort her unborn child, be subject to prosecution or penalty,” the document states.

Part of the ordinance cannot be enforced unless or until the U.S. Supreme court overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which would then allow local governments to punish violators of abortion bans.

Alternately, a state or federal court could rule the threat of the ordinance’s penalty would not impose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

Nevertheless, the Hillsdale, Michigan, ordinance — like those of the other Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn — also allows for private citizens to file civil lawsuits against any person who violates the ordinance outlawing abortion in the city, action that is “immediately enforceable,” and not dependent on the overturning of Roe v. Wade or any other court ruling.

Currently, the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative includes 33 cities, 30 in Texas, two in Nebraska, and one in Ohio, that have banned abortion within their limits.

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