ACLU Urges Auburn Not To Adopt 'Sanctuary City For the Preborn'
The American Civil Liberties Union has sent the Auburn City Council a letter regarding its agenda item at today's city council meeting.
August 12, 2019
Auburn City Council Members via email
RE: August 12, 2019 Agenda Item #10 Consideration and
Possible Approval of Resolution proposed by Dr. John Crotty
for Sanctuary City for Preborn Children and urging the
citizens of Auburn to promote and defend the inalienable right
to life and the inherent dignity of all innocent human beings at
every stage of development.
Dear Council Members:
For over 50 years in Nebraska, the ACLU has worked in courts,
legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional and
individual rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices
and millions of members and supporters, we take up the toughest civil
liberties fights. Beyond one person, party, or side — we the people dare
to create a more perfect union.
The ACLU works to ensure that every woman can make the best
decision for herself and her family about whether and when to have a
child without undue political interference.
The resolution to make Auburn a “Sanctuary City for Preborn Children” is a
misguided and unnecessary intrusion into the constitutional right of a patient to make her own decisions with respect to when and whether to have children. As such, we must strongly urge you to reject this resolution.
Years of Supreme Court precedent have recognized that a person has
the constitutional right to make their own reproductive decisions. In
Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court recognized that a
woman has a fundamental right to terminate her pregnancy and any
restrictions on this right must be narrowly tailored in furtherance of a
compelling state interest.
1 In Planned Parenthood of Southeast
Pennsylvania v. Casey, the Supreme Court upheld the basic principles
outlined in Roe that states are prohibited from banning most
2 In 2016, the Supreme Court held in Whole Woman’s Health
v. Hellerstedt that any law burdening the right to abortion must
actually further a valid state interest and the burdens of such laws
cannot outweigh the benefits.
1 Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S.Ct. 705 (1973).
2 Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 112 S.Ct.
3 Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292 (2016).
Women have abortions for many different reasons. Even if we disagree
with these decisions, we can agree that a woman has a right to make
her own personal, private decisions about abortion without the
government interfering. The proposed resolution does nothing more
than unfairly place politics into a deeply personal decision.
We urge the Auburn City Council to focus on making abortion less
necessary, not more shameful for women who make this decision.
Common sense and countless studies tell us that the way to reduce the
need for abortion care are things like comprehensive sex education and
access to contraception, not political stunts. If the Auburn City Council
is serious about its commitment to children, it should explore
measures to help families such as ensuring that every community
member has access to quality prenatal care, affordable childcare, and
educational opportunities, for example.
As such, the ACLU of Nebraska strongly discourages the Auburn City
Council from passing this misguided and dangerous resolution.
Legal & Policy Counsel
(402) 476-8091 ext. 108