EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — The City of Edinburg on Tuesday night held a city council meeting to discuss amending an ordinance code that would outlaw abortion in the city, making Edinburg a sanctuary city for unborn children.
The main chamber reached maximum capacity and the public comment section lasted hours as people from opposing and supporting sides voiced their comments in person, on Zoom, and through email.
“We are having more abortions than babies being born,” said Mary Villarreal, a member of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System (O.W.L.S.)
“We are the voice for the little ones that have no voice, the ones that have already been murdered and we’re trying to stop it,” said Fern McClaugherty, also a member of O.W.L.S.
Opposing organizations spoke on the podium next where the state director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, Nancy Cardenas-Pena, said it opens more doors for Texans to be sued.
“In S.B. 8, which is language that it’s in the ordinance today people from anywhere in the country can sue Texans, does this mean that this language makes it possible to sue the people of Edinburg?” said Cardenas.
Cardenas explained that litigation is costly and that money could be put towards other issues in the city instead.
“If the city of Edinburg prefers to work on actual issues, there are plenty of issues that the RGV could work on instead of a costly ordinance,” said Cardenas.
Other organizations who oppose the ordinance say that the culture of the Rio Grande Valley shames abortion rights.
“It’s really hard in the valley—like the culture here it kind of just shames people, and so we are very concerned about this one because it’s unconstitutional,” said Melissa Arjona, president of South Texans for Reproductive Justice.
According to the city’s meeting agenda, it was asked to be placed on the agenda by council member David White, and the staff recommendation states that an ordinance ‘of this scope’ should include public engagement.
At around 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, the item died after no seconds were made to make a motion on the agenda item.
Councilmember David White said, “if you are waiting on me I won’t vote to motion until I can hear from legal counsel.”