SAN ANGELO, Texas — Protesters and counter protesters gathered outside Immanuel Baptist Church in San Angelo on Thursday to voice both support and opposition to Proposition A — a ballot proposition that could outlaw abortion within the city limits.

According to Senior Pastor Ryan Buck of Immanuel Baptist Church, the gathering began after the church was notified that a group planned to set up a stand to protest the church. The group is claiming the church has violated the separation of church and state written in the U.S. Constitution.

“Everybody has a right to their faith, to practice whatever religion or practice that they have within the law,” said one of the protesters against the church, “But when a church violates the doctrine of separation of church and state, we should let everybody know that this church did that.”

Immanuel Baptist Church responded by gathering the congregation in a silent counter-protest between the stand and the front doors of the church to pray, they held signs that read “Vote for Life, Vote for the Ordinance” in reference to whether or not San Angelo should become a Sanctuary City for the Unborn in the upcoming election.

“We respect that not everybody agrees with this ordinance here in San Angelo,” said Pastor Buck, “But we are unashamedly pro-life and we will not be deterred standing for this issue and feel we will be victorious at the ballot box on November the 8th.”

Pastor Buck is also a leader of Project Destiny San Angelo, a political action committee made of several different churches, denominations and individuals leading a campaign to make San Angelo a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.

This is a question that the city of San Angelo has been asking for a little over a year now when Bishop Michael Sis of the Diocese of San Angelo asked city leaders to support the ordinance on September 9, 2021. At the time 13 San Angelo citizens stepped up in support. In a City Council meeting on February 1, 2022, seven citizens stepped up to discuss it during public comment and on August 16, 2022, the special election for November 8th was passed 7-0.

Voters will choose whether to make San Angelo a Sanctuary City for the Unborn on election day, Tuesday, November 8th.

Early voting will be from October 24th through November 4th in several locations across San Angelo.