Citizens poured into the San Antonio City Council Chambers on the evening of Wednesday, December 9th to voice their opinion on the proposed amendment redefining Ambulatory Surgical Centers. Before entering the chambers, the advocates for life were reminded of the season by a traditional 20 foot Christmas tree adorned with white lights and a lighted San Fernando Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in the United States. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the building that houses the city chambers and where citizens are heard by Council members.

The first item on the agenda was Mayor Ivy Taylor receiving recognition for San Antonio being a ‘Monarch Champion’ from the National Wildlife Federation for taking the pledge on 24 initiatives saving the Monarch Butterfly. According to the Wildlife Federation, cities and municipalities are committing to create habitat and educating citizens about how they can ‘make a difference’.

An approximate 100 Prolifers registered to address council members in an attempt to persuade them to oppose the amendment that will be voted on December 17. The ASC Amendment will allow for C-1 surgical centers to be located in any family neighborhood. It will also legalize the abortion facility by Planned Parenthood on 2140 Babcock which is presently on a C-1 zoning area and is located in Dreamhill Estates where families’ reside. According to a letter from the City of San Antonio Development Services Department dated December 22, 2014, it states that, “The use of a professional office and laboratory testing are permitted uses within the C-1 base zoning district. However, Cold Storage, Medical Surgery Facility and a Hospital are not permitted uses within the C-1 base zoning district.” This Planned Parenthood abortion facility has spread discord throughout the neighborhood and will continue to cause havoc in the small community until the matter is resolved. If the ASC Amendment passes on December 17, any location now classified as a C-1 zone district will be able to permit surgical centers, in essence, this amendment will pave the way for more Planned Parenthood killing facilities in San Antonio.

Prolife advocates attending the SA city council hoped that their 1 1/2 minute testimony would ‘make a difference’ in the proposed ASC amendment. The elected council members who are supposed to represent the citizens and listen attentively to their concerns were represented by empty chairs. Two or three at the most were present out of the ten. The topic of abortion and saving the lives of the unborn was just too insignificant to justify their attendance. No one stood at the podium on behalf of the zoning change or for abortion.

Many organizations which included San Antonio Family Association, Texas Values, Life Choices Medical Clinic, San Antonio Coalition for Life, Stop Planned Parenthood Coalition, Justice Foundation, Dreamhill Estates and pastors and many more individuals gave their reasons for opposing the proposed amendment.

The speakers were limited to 1 ½ minutes because of the number of citizens wanting to be heard. Speakers can receive time from another registered speaker, adding time to their testimony. For those of you who have never given testimony, the two testimonies in this article should give you some guidance and understanding that anyone can stand in front of council members when you are passionate in what you believe to be true. Imagine if all prolife citizens would stand in front and address the council members, what a safe haven San Antonio would be for the unborn.

Testimony by Sonja Harris, 1 ½ minutes:

My name is Sonja Harris and I oppose this amendment.

As a native San Antonian and a product of the Catholic schools in San Antonio, I feel a strong need to voice my opinion on the proposed amendment. This amendment would in affect cause a complete transformation for the city and its citizens. San Antonio has always been a stronghold of Christians, Catholics and Protestants. This amendment is an affront to all Catholics and to the Catholic Archdiocese headquartered in San Antonio. The Historic missions in the South Side stand as reminders of our Catholic heritage.

The thought of enacting this amendment for the sole purpose of erecting another killing facility in the South Side not only reeks of favoring Planned Parenthood but would severely damage the Hispanic culture in that area and to all women living in San Antonio and Bexar County.

The amendment would also be in direct contradiction to what the Catholic missionaries intended that this city should stand for, Christian values. Furthermore, it would be in opposition of what the citizens in this historic city want to preserve which is the preservation of Christian values to instill in their children and grandchildren.

Our beautiful city was named after St. Anthony many years ago laying down roots for the future. Please do the right thing and oppose this amendment.

Testimony by Jerome Iltis, 3 minutes:

I was going to read Archbishop Gustavo’s statement he made on March 2nd, but I won’t read it again because you already know the Archbishop’s position that abortion is “gravely contrary to moral law”.

I was trying to put this whole issue into perspective wondering why the Archbishop was compelled to make his statement, and I was wondering why I’m here, along with others, to talk to you tonight. What it comes down to is that abortion is a violation of moral law, otherwise known as Natural Moral Law.

What is natural moral law? Natural moral law is known by all men and women who have the use of reason. It is basic common sense, prudence and justice. Natural moral law is imprinted on our hearts by God. The following is what one source says about Natural Moral Law:

“An immoral act violates the natural moral law even if it conforms to the local civil law:

Slavery was immoral and contrary to natural moral law even though the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it until it was overturned by the 14th Amendment in 1868 after the Civil War.

The Nuremburg Laws of Nazi Germany in 1935 also violated the natural moral law because they deprived Jews of their citizenship and paved the way for confiscation of personal property, deportation, incarceration, and doomed many to the concentration camps.

The legalized racial segregation in South Africa from 1948 to 1991, known as apartheid, defied the natural moral law.

In all these cases, the civil law endorsed, tolerated, or promoted horrible injustices, precisely because the natural moral law was being violated. A government, a constitution, a law, or an amendment doesn’t grant personhood. It comes from human nature, made in the image and likeness of God. The natural moral law exists despite what political parties and civil authorities legislate to the contrary.”

That got me to thinking … Man-made laws in our country are supposed to be legislated and enacted to enforce natural moral law; in other words, civil laws are created by our elected officials who represent us … elected officials who we rely upon … to establish laws to protect us from evil and to promote the common good.

I’m a retired federal law enforcement officer. I spent 23 years in the Coast Guard, which has the broadest law enforcement authority of any law enforcement agency in the country. Much of my Coast Guard career was spent enforcing our laws … for the common good.

So, why is a retired federal law enforcement officer testifying to you tonight? The reason I’m here is to tell you that the natural moral law is not being enforced at 2140 Babcock. Unfortunately, there is no civil law to enforce protecting our unborn fellow human beings from the evil of abortion. Instead, our U.S. Supreme Court made a mistake and ruled that abortion is legal. In hindsight, we know the Supreme Court got it wrong because there is no common good whatsoever about abortion. I’m here to ask you:

Is it a common good for abortion to cause physical and emotional damage to mothers for the rest of their lives?

Is it a common good to inflict excruciating pain to the innocent unborn baby during the abortion process, and is it a common good to then disrespect the deceased baby by selling its body parts?

Abortion is the ultimate indignity. It deprives an innocent, helpless person of life by deliberately and gruesomely killing that person, a fellow human being, in opposition to God’s will. So I ask you, is abortion a common good? I believe you know, deep down in your heart, that abortion is not a common good. I believe you know, by use of your reasoning, what the Archbishop stated is true, that abortion is “gravely contrary to moral law”.

So, I’m here to ask you to do the right thing. I’m asking you to stop going out of your way to facilitate the abortion industry and to start going out of your way to prohibit abortions in the City of St. Anthony. I’m asking you to defend Natural Moral Law for the common good.

I’m not sure, but when you took office on City Council, I believe you may have sworn an oath to promote the common good … and I believe that oath may have ended in the words “so help me God”. Tonight I respectfully and prayerfully ask that God so help you to fulfill your oath.

If there’s any question about whether or not abortion is gravely contrary to natural moral law, do what many of us parents do when we try to teach our children right from wrong. Ask yourself “What would Jesus do?” If Jesus was sitting in that chair, what would He do? Or, put another way; ask yourself “What would Jesus want you to do?”

Mayor Ivy Taylor was there at the start of the session to receive the ‘Monarch Champion’ award but faded like a wallflower when it came time for the ‘citizens to be heard’ segment. The real ‘champions’ are the people who defend the unborn and who stand for life and are passionate about their Christian legacy and believe that Religious Liberty comes from God and not the government. Please contact Mayor Taylor and your SA city council member and let him/her know that the lives of the unborn do matter. While saving butterflies is admirable, shouldn’t the protection of the unborn be a priority over the Monarch butterfly?

Pray, Fight, NEVER GIVE UP!

San Antonio City Council members


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