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AUBURN, Nebraska, March 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Auburn, Nebraska became the latest locality in the United States to symbolically declare itself a “sanctuary” for preborn babies Monday, with its city council narrowly voting to approve non-binding human rights recognition from conception onward.

“The city of Auburn, Neb., shall be known as a community that supports the inalienable right to life for all citizens, born and unborn,” the statement reads, “and respects their inherent dignity, value and importance at every stage of development.”

Much of the city council debate revolved around whether the statement would have any practical effect beyond an expression of values, News Channel Nebraska reported. Councilman Shawn Clark said he took it as a statement of the community’s support for a local safe house that helps women choose life in crisis pregnancies.

Councilwoman Katy Billings was perhaps the measure’s most strident opponent, going so far as to cry before casting her “no” vote despite claiming to be pro-life. “I worry that if we set a precedent like this, it’s a slippery slope” to the city council opining on more hot-button issues,” she claimed.

Councilman F.L. Zacarola, meanwhile, framed the resolution as in keeping with healthy society’s reverence for new life. “Birth was revered. Not necessarily a religious thing, but more life has been brought,” he said. “We are strengthened by the life that we bring to this world.”

Councilman Doug Hitzel said the statement was valuable for promoting the community’s future health. “If you want to have businesses that stay in place, the kids need to be here,” he said. “You actually have to have kids. You need to teach your people that they need to have kids and love them and care for them, not dispose of them.”

Ultimately, Mayor Dan White cast the deciding vote in favor of the statement, breaking a 3-3 tie.

Similar declarations – some purely symbolic, some with potential legal ramifications – have been enacted in communities across the United States, including in Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Texas.

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