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Levelland City Council approves sanctuary city ordinance on first reading

The Levelland City Council approved an ordinance to become a Sanctuary City for the Unborn on a first reading at Monday’s city council meeting.

While an executive session item to consult with legal counsel was on the agenda, the council chose to forgo executive session and instead took action to approve the ordinance with little discussion.

“I don’t see any reason we need to go into executive session,” said Jim Myatt, city council member for District A. “I would hate to the be the one who voted against it and not bring it into the city.”

Myatt said he understood the city attorney wanted to go over the legal implications of adopting the ordinance, but said a law firm, Mitchell Law, had submitted a letter to the city committing that the law firm will represent the city at no cost to the city or its taxpayers in any litigation that may result from a decision to enact the ordinance.

Prior to the start of the meeting, 19 individuals addressed the city council regarding the ordinance. Although not all those who spoke were residents of Levelland, all were in favor of the ordinance and urged the council to approve it.

“I think it’s a great disservice to the citizens to go into executive session,” Myatt said. “We have this group here, this is just a small portion. I think this is what 99.9 percent of Levelland is going to say. I think this is waste of our time and their time to go into executive session. It’s not going to change my thoughts.”

Matt Wade, city attorney, said the council did not have to go into executive session. Myatt then made the motion to approve the ordinance on a first reading and Breann Buxkemper, city council member for District C, seconded the motion. All council members voted in favor of the ordinance on a first reading.

The ordinance effectively outlaws abortion within the City of Levelland, “declaring Levelland a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.” Unlawful acts defined under the ordinance include: abortion and aiding or abetting an abortion.

The ordinance says an 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, remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by accidental miscarriage; or remove an ectopic pregnancy.

The ordinance will be read a second and final time at the next city council meeting, and upon approval, will go into effect.

Read the full story in the Wednesday edition of the Levelland & Hockley County News-Press

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