As election day approaches, The Athens Review encourages our readers to cast an educated, informed ballot and vote with your head, not just your heart.
Early voting starts Monday and a special election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8 to allow residents to vote for or against the adoption of an ordinance outlawing abortion and declaring Athens a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.
The following proposition will appear on the ballot:
"An ordinance outlawing abortion, declaring Athens a sanctuary city for the unborn, making various provisions and findings, providing for severability, and establishing an effective date."
While it may seem like the right thing to do to vote “For” Proposition A, think before you cast a ballot and ask yourself what it will really accomplish. There are no abortion clinics operating in Athens at this time and with the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade, Texas already has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
The Athens City Council did not introduce or adopt the ordinance and has no control over the language on the ballot. The group Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn previously brought the ordinance to the council, which declined to put it on the agenda. The group then collected the required number of signatures on a petition to sent the ordinance to the next General Election for voters to decide.
If approved, the ordinance will allow for any Athens resident to sue any other resident who in any way assists any person to obtain an abortion. The ordinance extends to Athens residents seeking out-of-state abortions, which in our view, is overreach the city did not ask for or approve.
If passed, the enforcement mechanism which is found in the Texas Heartbeat Act would apply from the point of conception, allowing private citizens the ability to sue abortionists and anyone who is found aiding or abetting an abortion for the death of an unborn child who has a detectable heartbeat.
We encourage you to think about how the proposition could be used to persecute and prosecute our fellow Athens residents before you cast an emotional vote based on principle alone.