AUBURN – The Auburn City Council voted 4-2 Monday to reject a designation of a “sanctuary city for preborn children.”

Retired optometrist John Crotty told the city council that five cities and two county governments have passed the resolution in four different states.

Crotty: “We the citizens of Auburn, Neb., have the opportunity to be the first community in Nebraska to stand up for these oppressed little people. This resolution will also act preemptively to protect life in our city from abortion providers wanting to profit here.”

The resolution would have placed a plaque naming Auburn a sanctuary city and called for a public meeting in defense of the preborn. Crotty said there are organizations in the city that would provide dwelling for pregnant women in crisis.

City Attorney Angelo Ligouri said Crotty could accomplish these goals without the resolution.

Ligouri: “In order to carry out with Mr. Crotty wants to do, it’s 100 percent unnecessary.”

Crotty: “Someone has to say enough is enough, 3,000 children a day lose their lives, 60 million to date. If it’s not necessary, I don’t know what is.”

Pastor Kent Clark of the Auburn Berean Church said his mother confided in him that she would have most likely aborted him, if it had been legal.

Clark:  “I feel that my life has been used to affect a lot of people in  a good way, a positive way.”

Danny Hayes of Auburn said the city council is not being asked whether abortion is right or not, but what city government’s role should be.

Hayes: “We shouldn’t take a religious belief, an idea, and use the council to promote a stance on that.”

Nikki Hayes said the resolution is not representative of all the people of the community.

Hayes: “I vehemently oppose this resolution and stand up for the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies.”

Crotty said changes in federal law, could place the issue of abortion back on the states.

Crotty: “This is the objective of this grassroots movement is to have as many communities as possible step forward and take this courageous stand.”

City Councilwoman Katy Billings said passage of the resolution will create divisiveness in the community and open the door to lawsuits.

Billings: “I’m not interested in the city of Auburn becoming a springboard for either side of the issue to make a case up the political ladder.”

Crotty responded to Billings’ statement that she is pro-life, but not in favor of the resolution.

Crotty: “It’s one thing to have a pro-life value and it’s another one to stand up and vote for it. The best interest of the city is the best interest of its people, born and preborn.”

Councilman Shawn Clark moved to approve resolution, seconded by Rick Janssen. Jeff Jeanneret, Tom Clark, Billings and Chris Erickson voted against.