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Hayes Center becomes first Nebraska town to make abortion illegal and punishable by law

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - It started with a petition and a prayer, the actions of a nearly all-woman board, and a man from Texas - oh, and a small town with a passion; for the “Right to Life.”

Hayes Center, Nebraska is quietly tucked away in west-central Nebraska, but it making noise that is being heard across the country. The population is just over 200, but the town has all the makings of a city - a public school, motel, grocery store, library, feedlot, pig farm (to name a few), and a leader who says she knows her constituents.

Village Chair Kimberle Primavera visited with the Village of Hayes Center Board of Trustees about a month ago about a petition for the “Right to Life” in a very proactive way. Primavera, a transplant from the Lincoln area, was intrigued and inspired by the movement sweeping across the State of Texas - 23 Texas towns passing enforceable ordinances outlawing abortion with several more in the process of working toward that end including Lubbock, Texas (population 264,000). The citizens of Lubbock are voting on outlawing abortion within their city limits on May 1, 2021. The biggest Texas town outlawing abortion to date is Big Spring, population 28,362.

According to the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Mark Lee Dickson of Texas, the reason for the movement is a proactive stand against the “promise by the Biden Administration to make abortion access available to every zip code in America during the administration.” Hayes Center is the only incorporated city in the 69032 zip code.

Dickson proudly wears the badge of being the only person currently involved in three $1 million lawsuits, saying on social media that:

“.....abortion is murder....and... “the abortion industry is involved in the murder of innocent children.”

The Board of Trustees said it chose to take a stand and voted to make President Biden’s promise impossible in their town at a Hayes Center meeting on Tuesday, April 6.

Dickson made the trip to Hayes Center last week with a draft of an ordinance made specifically for Hayes Center. He explains that every town’s ordinance looks different depending on the town’s size and laws already in place.

Dickson also says while other towns have passed resolutions to be pro-life, a resolution does nothing to enforce the statement of “pro-life.” He wonders aloud how the Governor of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts, will react to Hayes Center’s stance after regularly announcing Nebraska as a “pro-life state.”

This new ordinance in Hayes Center is enforceable. Due to existing statutes, a $500 fine for an offense of abortion in Hayes Center is as severe as they are allowed to punish an offender. The punishment varies from city to city.

The Hayes Center ordinance outlawing abortion declares: “It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the Village of Hayes Center, Nebraska,” and “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the Village of Hayes Center, Nebraska.”

The ordinance reads that it does not include Plan B, birth control devices, or oral contraceptives. However, it does include abortion-inducing drugs. Any drugs administered by an abortion clinic with the intent to “kill an unborn” are considered contraband. According to the ordinance, these drugs include “mifepristone, misoprostol, and any drug or medication that is used to terminate the life of an unborn,” according to the ordinance.

If the Village of Hayes Center should find itself in a lawsuit, Attorney Jonathan F. Mitchell, former Texas Solicitor General, has agreed to represent the city at no cost to the city or taxpayers.

Dickson said he wants to challenge cities and churches to start speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves and make changes and put forth efforts toward helping women when they find themselves in a difficult situation in ways that preserve life.