This past Saturday, the people of the city of Lubbock, Texas, approved in a landslide vote a city ordinance that outlawed all abortion within the city limits and summarily declared Lubbock a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn.” The results of the vote were 62.46% of the voters in favor of the ordinance and 37.54% of voters opposed the ordinance.
The approval of the people of Lubbock means that the city is the largest by far within the United States to ban abortion via law with the city having an estimated population of 258,862. There have been 22 other cities in Texas and two more in Nebraska that have passed laws with similar ideals, but Lubbock is the only place with an active abortion clinic.
This past November, the City Council of Lubbock turned down the ordinance after a hard-driven petition forced a vote by the council itself. However, the member of the committee that was responsible for the forcing petition made the city council approve a May election to look at the matter.
“Lubbock did not have a working abortion clinic in the city until April 15, when the Planned Parenthood Health Center began offering abortions,” reported Everything Lubbock, who went on to add, “However, the ordinance would not be enforceable through penalties ‘unless and until’ either of three things happens: The Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a state or federal court rules that it does not impose an undue burden on women seeking abortions, or a state or federal court rules the entity being penalized ‘lacks third-party standing to assert the rights of women seeking abortions in court.'”
In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas issued its reaction to the passing of the ordinance saying “The ACLU has a long history of challenging unconstitutional abortion bans and will continue to fight to protect the fundamental rights of the people of Lubbock.”
The reason behind the law passing so suddenly was because of an announcement this past August by Planned Parenthood that it had the intention of opening up a clinic inside Lubbock city limits, stating, “For the past three years, a priority for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas has been to expand Planned Parenthood’s services in West Texas to increase access to affordable healthcare services including breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV tests, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), birth control including long-acting IUDs and implants, and safe, legal abortion services.”
Charles Parry, State Senator, created a petition which said, “Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is hiring staff for a Lubbock location. Two years ago, they made their plans known to re-enter West Texas and they have made good on that promise. We need to stand strong and send a clear message that the abortion industry should not set up shop in our backyard. Unborn children should have the right to live and Planned Parenthood profits off ending their lives. This is unacceptable.”
In its platform for the 2020 elections, the Texas Republican Party stated, “We support completely eliminating public funding for Planned Parenthood and any other abortion providers and all their affiliates, and we oppose their digital or physical presence in our schools and other public institutions, and the expansion of their facilities in our neighborhoods.”