LUBBOCK, Texas– Saturday, voters will have the last chance to cast a vote on one of the most controversial topics on the ballot in years — whether to outlaw abortion inside city limits and make the Hub City a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn.”
This topic has taken center stage in the year’s city elections, and it’s gotten people on all sides of the abortion debated heated — to the point local churches have weighed in, some taking a public stance on a political issue for the first time.
It’s hard to miss the “Vote Yes” or “Vote No” signs all over the Hub City. They started in folks’ front yards and have now graduated to church grounds.
Huge posters and banners saying “Vote for Life” now adorn the exteriors of places like Trinity Church, Southcrest Baptist Church and Church on the Rock. Church on the Rock hosted a prayer service Wednesday night in support of the proposition.
“We see this so much more than just making a political statement, but we believe that as the church, we have to stand on God’s word and what we believe that God teaches us about the sanctity of unborn life,” Jackie White, senior pastor at Church on the Rock, said.
White described himself as not “pro-choice” or “pro-life” but rather in favor of “whole life.”
“I’m for the unborn baby’s life. I’m for the mother’s life. I’m for the doctor who performs and abortion — I’m for his life,” White said.
But Second Baptist Church said it’s not taking a stance, and it tries never to speak out on issues on the ballot. Members of the congregation feel passionate both for and against the ordinance.
“Baptists have historically celebrated the separation of church and state as something that’s good for both … We support people who choose to vote. We encourage people to vote with their mind, their heart, their values,” Jake Maxwell, pastor at Second Baptist Church, said.
It’s a different story for St. John’s United Methodist Church across from Texas Tech. It called this proposition “dangerous.”
“When Texas in the past tried passing propositions like this, young women who feel like they’re trapped in situations attempted self-abortions, and [they] endanger [their] own life,” Shiloh Morris, associate pastor at St. John’s United Methodist Church, said.
The church is taking a firm stance against the proposition, saying the ordinance would not only cost Lubbock taxpayers thousands of dollars but it would also strip women of their bodily autonomy and harm women who are the victims of rape or incest.
“It will make life harder for all women … It will affect women psychologically, emotionally, even spiritually,” Morris said.
At the end of the day, Morris also said it’s not up to one group to make decisions for everyone living in the Hub City.
“We’re guided to love another, like another, but that doesn’t mean that one faith should be able to make the decisions for everyone,” Morris said.