On Tuesday, just one month after Lubbock, Texas became the state’s largest sanctuary city for the unborn (and the only sanctuary city for the unborn with an active abortion clinic), Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas agreed to stop performing abortions within the city limits. This announcement came after a federal district judge dismissed Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit citing lack of standing.
Lubbock’s ordinance, which declares abortion, except in the case of life of the mother, “an act of murder,” outlaws procuring or performing an abortion, and aiding or abetting an abortion — including by providing transportation, giving instructions over the phone, providing money for, and coercing a mother into having an abortion.
Unlike other sanctuary city laws, until Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, this law — which prohibits penalties for the mother, but penalizes all other parties involved — is not enforced by state or local officials, but merely by private citizens.
The brilliant thought behind this double enforcement mechanism is two-fold. First, it ensures that the ordinance will be immediately enforceable and not reliant on overturning Roe. And second, because the city would not be party to civil lawsuits triggered by the ordinance and would not be enforcing the ordinance, Planned Parenthood — or any other pro-abortion business — does not have standing to sue the city over this ordinance. Hence, once Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit was dismissed, the leader of the culture of death had no option but to comply.
Originally, the sanctuary city proposal was brought before city council, who unanimously rejected it stating that Roe v. Wade was law of the land and this law could not go into effect. However, the pro-life movement remained steadfast.
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Texas State Senator Charles Perry, a deacon at Southcrest Baptist Church, and other ardent pro-lifers led the charge requesting placing the sanctuary city law on the ballot. Pro-life leaders argued the people of Lubbock should have the option to vote on ordaining Lubbock a sanctuary city for the unborn, “Because we fear God, view the intentional shedding of the blood of unborn children to be an inconceivably wicked action, and we believe that we all have a responsibility to protect the lives of the smallest and most vulnerable humans among us.”
As Jim Baxa, President of West Texas for Life, mentioned on “Washington Watch,” over 200 churches across Lubbock, Texas said, “We’re not afraid of politics anymore. We’re going to get involved, and we’re going to save babies lives.” These churches held signature drives for the ballot initiative, and within 18 days, the pro-life movement had the signatures required to place naming Lubbock a sanctuary city for the unborn on the ballot.
The ballot initiative passed by an overwhelming 62 percent majority, joining the ranks of several other Texas cities who have recently become abortion free.
When Americans stand together for the unborn, lives are saved, a culture of life flourishes, and sometimes — even Planned Parenthood backs down. Lubbock, Texas is a great example for all of us to never give up fighting for the unborn. God bless Texas!
LifeNews Note: Mary Szoch is the director of the center for life and human dignity at the Family Research Council.