With a 7 to 0 vote of approval at Thursday’s regular session of the city commission, an anti-abortion ordinance designed to keep abortion clinics from setting up shop in Clovis will become the city’s newest ordinance. District 2 Commissioner Lauren Rowley abstained from the vote making the final tally 7 to 0.
The proposed ordinance was tabled the first time it came up for a vote in November. An attempt to untable the matter failed at a December regular session of the commission.
District 1 Commissioner Juan Garza put the “untabling” of the ordinance on Thursday’s agenda. The untabling was the first item on the agenda regarding the ordinance. That matter passed by a 7 to 1 vote with Rowley voting “no” on the matter.
Mayor Mike Morris spoke before the ordinance came up for a vote.
“This is not a ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’ ordinance,” Morris said. “It never has been which has led to much confusion due to so many calling it that.”
“’Sanctuary City’ implies an outright prohibition on abortion. In fact, the ordinance creates a license application process for abortion providers to obtain a business license,” he said.
Morris went on to repeat the main tenets of the ordinance: Compliance with a federal law known as a Comstock law. The federal law referenced involves an 1873 Comstock law that prohibits publicizing, distributing or possessing information about or medication or other tools for “unlawful” contraception or abortions.
City Manager Justin Howalt said the ordinance will go into effect five days after it is published, and no abortion clinics have yet applied to open in Clovis to his knowledge.
Clovis now joins Hobbs and Lea County in passage of an anti-abortion ordinance.
A slightly different ordinance comes before the Roosevelt County Commission Tuesday. The Roosevelt County ordinance requires civil action by the county citizenry for enforcement.
Source: The Eastern New Mexico News, Staff. “Clovis City Commission Passes Anti-Abortion Ordinance.” The Eastern New Mexico News,