More than 200 Lubbock, Texas residents urged their city council Tuesday to pass an ordinance that would outlaw abortion within the city limits before Planned Parenthood moves in.
Calls for a “Sanctuary for the Unborn” ordinance have been growing ever since the abortion chain announced plans to open a new facility in the city later this year.
“This is not a matter that can wait until after the November election but must be addressed now,” Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and leader of the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort. “The mayor and city council have the opportunity to save a countless number of unborn children from being murdered within their city limits.”
Dickson estimated that more than 200 people attended the pro-life rally outside the Lubbock Citizen’s Tower.
Joining local residents’ efforts to keep abortions out of their city are state Sen. Charles Perry and state Reps. Dustin Burrows and John Frullo, pro-life Republicans who represent the area.
The Daily Wire reports they sent a letter to Mayor Dan Pope and the city council members in August encouraging them to protect unborn babies’ lives by passing the ordinance.
“It has come to the attention of many in our area that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading provider of abortion services, is planning to open a clinic in Lubbock between now and the end of the year,” they wrote. “We respectfully request that the City of Lubbock take all necessary actions to prevent them from opening, since this organization profits off ending the lives of unborn children.”
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The “Sanctuary for the Unborn” ordinance recognizes that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. It prohibits abortions within city limits and prevents abortion businesses from opening there. The ordinance also penalizes abortionists for aborting unborn babies, but it does not penalize women who seek or have abortions.
The Texan reports Planned Parenthood ran an abortion facility in Lubbock until 2013 when it closed because of a pro-life state law. The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned that law.
Now, the abortion chain is planning to return.
On its website, Planned Parenthood recently released the following statement: “Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas recently posted for staff positions in Lubbock, and is planning to announce the opening of a new health center in that community later this year. In light of the history of harassment by extremists opposed to Planned Parenthood’s mission, it is our ongoing policy to not comment on health center projects for security reasons until they are completed. Additional information, including health center opening date, location, and list of health services, will be shared when finalized.”
Planned Parenthood told the local news that it does plan to do abortions in Lubbock “at a later date.”
Dickson told LifeNews that, right now, no unborn babies are being aborted in Lubbock, and the city can maintain the status quo by passing the ordinance.
“Lubbock passing this ordinance does not create an ‘undue burden’ on women seeking to get abortions because zero abortions are being performed here currently,” he said. “If some cities can prohibit plastic straws, big gulp drinks, the use of engine breaks on big trucks, the selling of alcohol, the number of dogs and cats owned … cities can prohibit abortion as well.”
Dickson said since the news broke about Lubbock, three other cities also have expressed interest in passing pro-life ordinances.
If the city council acts, Lubbock would be the 15th and largest city in Texas to pass a “Sanctuary for the Unborn” ordinance. The other cities are East Mountain, Whiteface, Wells, Big Spring, Rusk, Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer and Westbrook. Omaha also passed an ordinance but later retracted it and passed a non-enforceable resolution instead.
Abortion activists have tried to stop the growing effort, but, in May, the American Civil Liberties Union dropped a lawsuit challenging seven of the cities’ ordinances in a huge victory for pro-lifers.
ACTION ALERT: Contact the Lubbock City Council and mayor.