Pro-life group rallies for Naples to become a ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:

A pro-life organization is working to outlaw abortion in a Southwest Florida city.

Nonprofit Action for Life is fighting for Naples to become a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” They rallied outside Wednesday morning’s city council meeting. Dozens gathered in front of Naples City Hall holding signs, rosaries and flags.

It’s the second time this week the group has tried to reach Naples city leaders. It first proposed an ordinance to city leaders March 18. The same ordinance has been adopted in more than 20 cities in Texas and two in Nebraska.

“We need to stand up for life because without life, nothing else in the world even matters,” said Beth Bohannon with Action for Life.

Council members chose not to discuss it when the group first brought up the ordinance. Organizers say, until city leaders change their minds, they’ll be here at every council meeting.

“I think it’s a beginning,” Bohannon said. “I think this is we’ve got some interested people, and we’ve got recognition, and I do believe there’s hope here.”

Annisa Karim, the chairwoman of the Collier County Democratic Party, says she respects the organization’s right to rally and speak, but she doesn’t want to see any local laws on the topic.

“I do not agree with the premise of the actual ordinance,” Karim said. “I don’t believe that that is appropriate for a local municipality to be ruling on. I think it’s government overreach at this level.”

Bill Oppenheimer is the president of Action for Life, and he wants city council to adopt an ordinance and approve it in Naples. It would ban all abortions in the city unless the mother’s life is at stake. He feels the community should get its say.

“If we are not successful today, we’ll be back in two weeks and two weeks after that,” Oppenheimer said. “It will keep pushing it until they hear us and place it on the agenda.”

Organizers told us they had more than 20 people ready to speak Wednesday, but because city council pushed back public comment, many had to leave but plan to return for their mission in the city.

We’ll have more on this story on Wednesday’s WINK News at 6.

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