ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – A group of East Texans is pushing to make Athens a sanctuary city for the unborn.

More than 40 cities throughout the state of Texas have already done this. It’s a trend in East Texas. Dickson says this proposal is important to the people of Athens despite the ongoing push against the ordinance from the city.

People in support of the ordinance gathered ahead of the City Council meeting Monday. They called their protest the, “Our Mayor and Council May Not Stand For Life, but We Will” rally.

“This is having an effect in other places too. The City Attorney, Blake Armstrong, is the same City Attorney for Chandler and White Oak, Texas. People are starting to ask ‘is he the reason why this isn’t a reality now in those locations,’” said Mark Lee Dickson, Director of Right to Life of East Texas.

Both of these cities are also waiting on ordinances. 

“88 percent of those who voted in the Republican party primaries said that they wanted to see that amendment. So, this is a very pro-life community, and this is something that their elected officials need to listen to their constituents,” said Dickson.

KETK News tried to speak to Athens City officials. Instead, they released a statement outlining six reasons why the ordinance was not added. The city said it has, “no legal authority regarding abortions.” They are calling the ordinance, “redundant” and “for the sake of making a statement.”

Supporters of the measure say the City of Athens should stand for these strong values. 

“I have family and friends that have been adopted, and they adopted their children as well. I just believe that life starts at conception. That is according to God’s word and God’s word is truth,” said Ashley Hill, an Athens resident.

In the event that Athens City Council does not take up the ordinance, they will take this to the voters like they did in Lubbock.