CELINA —On its third and final reading, Celina City Council, Monday night defeated an ordinance outlawing abortion within Celina city limits and would have declared Celina a “Sanctuary City for the unborn”.
The vote Monday night was 4-3 against passage.
On the first two readings, the council defeated the measure by a 4-2 vote.
The measure was a proactive approach to keep any abortion clinics out of Celina, which currently has none. The nearest clinic is in Kettering, Ohio —86 miles away from Celina.
Forty-two cities in the United States have passed legislation forming Sanctuary Cities for the unborn, including two in Ohio — Mason and Lebanon.
Dozens of Celina residents urged council to pass the ordinance Monday night. Twenty-seven people spoke in favor of passage while six voiced their opposition to it.
“I am deeply troubled over the fact that some of you have voted against our city, our businesses and our most vulnerable residents, the unborn,” said Katie Shroyer. “We are a community that protects each other and if you vote against providing this layer of added protection for our city, the message you will send to our community will be loud and clear, namely that you do not value the unborn and that you do not have the city’s best interest at heart.”
Their cries were left unheard by a majority of council members.
Mark Harrington, president of Created Equal says their work is not done.
“We’re a national organization that is working to bring legal protection to the unborn. The Sanctuary Cities project is something that’s already begun in Ohio,” Harrington said. “It’s not intended for cities that already have abortion clinics, at least for now but we want to keep it out.”
Mark Lee Dickson is the director of Right to Life of East Texas.
He is founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative and believes there will be retribution for defeating the ordinance.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of really upset people in Celina, Ohio,” Dickson said. “I definitely think that it would solidify a completely different makeup of council in the future.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.