As desperate abortion proponents employ the “run around the country like chickens with their heads cut off” strategy to try to stop unprecedented pro-life legislative advances in the states, they should know those advances are on the cusp of exponentially exploding to local municipalities.

Last week, Virginia’s busiest abortion clinic closed, blaming, in part, a new city ordinance that made it harder for it to relocate (and blaming the need to relocate, in part, on new state regulations).

NOVA Women’s Healthcare, based in Fairfax, killed 3,500 preborn babies in 2011, according to the Virginia Department of Health. And although it is more likely the clinic’s demise was due to patients “lying down in corridors… and, in some instances, even vomiting,” plus the fact the mill was $95,000 behind in rent, city leaders became pro-active in their resolve to mitigate this blight on their community. According to the Washington Post, July 14:

The Fairfax City Council then became aware of the clinic’s attempt to relocate. On Tuesday, the council amended its zoning ordinance to require that all clinics, henceforward to be called medical care facilities, obtain a special-use permit and approval from the council. Previously, clinics were treated the same as doctor’s offices and were not required to go through the city council.

imageMeanwhile, pro-lifers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are becoming assertive in an attempt to rid their community of a long-term blight, Southwest Women’s Options, where a mother can abort her baby throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

If New Mexico, which has not passed one single pro-life measure since abortion was legalized 40 years ago, is known as the “wild, wild West of abortion,” then Albuquerque is Dodge City, where mothers come from all over the globe for late-term abortions, according to pro-lifers on the scene.

Now pro-life/pro-family groups and the churches of the Land of Enchantment’s largest city are banding together to put a stop to the carnage. The groups are gathering petition signatures for an initiative to be placed on the October 8 municipal ballot to approve the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance, tailored after Texas’s recently enacted 20 week ban.

I spoke yesterday with Chris Donnelly of Traditional Values Advocacy of New Mexico and Tara Shaver or, leaders of two groups – which also include the Catholic Coalition of New Mexico and the Right to Life Committee of New Mexico (state affiliate of National Right to Life) – that are spearheading the effort.

Chris and Tara reported the groups have already collected 11,000 of the 12,000 signatures required by the July 26 filing deadline to get on the ballot. They are shooting for 15,000. Go to for more info on where to sign the petition and how to help the drive.

image“Because we are the first U.S. city pushing this ban, we expect pro-abortion groups from around the country to fight this,” Chris told me. “They won’t want other cities to follow our lead.”

Too late. Dana Cody, president of Life Legal Defense Foundation, told me this morning she was approached only last week by a city council member of a major Florida city, who is also interested in introducing a 20-week ban.

“Our research shows that as long as municipalities aren’t doing anything to violate state law, they can introduce anything they want at the local level,” Dana explained. “We know they will be sued, but in that case we have a nationwide network of attorneys who will defend the legislation pro bono.

“In the Casey decision the Supreme Court said a state can regulate abortion when there’s viability,” Dana continued. “By ‘state,’ SCOTUS doesn’t mean one of the 50 states, it means government entities.”

The line of viability keeps moving down, currently at 21 weeks, 5 days and counting.

“We know there would be a huge legal battle with a 20-week ban,” Dana added. “But look at the battle over partial birth abortion and what that exposed. Furthermore, these are also educational endeavors.”

As for clinic regulations, Paul Linton, attorney with the Thomas More Society told me yesterday Illinois municipalities can add additional regulations to ambulatory surgical centers if they are already regulated by the state.

Linton’s point was that each state has its own regulatory requirements that pro-lifers may or may not be able to massage.

Linton suggested another idea to explore, “requiring clinics and doctors to have minimal malpractice insurance – the key is you just cannot specifically target abortion clinics and doctors.”

Linton noted that municipalities are by and large deathly afraid of litigation but reiterated Cody’s point that pro-life attorneys willing to provide pro bono help abound.

This new avenue for stopping abortion is exciting. It will not only save mothers and babies but will keep abortion proponents occupied and on the defensive.

[Top photo of pro-lifers in front of the closed NOVA abortion clinic via World Magazine]

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