And the victories for unborn babies just keep coming in Texas.
On Thursday, the Planned Parenthood abortion chain dropped its lawsuit against the City of Lubbock and its Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance, which bans abortions within city limits.
As a result, unborn babies will continue to be protected in the Texas city.
“We are thrilled that Planned Parenthood has dropped its lawsuit against the city of Lubbock, which was meritless from the outset,” said Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right To Life of East Texas and founder of Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative.
Lubbock is the largest city in the U.S. – and the first with an abortion facility – to pass an ordinance that protects unborn babies by banning abortions. Last year, city residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of the ordinance, which went into effect in June.
Planned Parenthood sued the city, but a judge dismissed its lawsuit. Later, the abortion chain appealed, but it never succeeded in convincing a judge to block the ordinance. As a result, Planned Parenthood has not aborted any unborn babies in Lubbock since the beginning of June.
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Now, the victory is permanent after Planned Parenthood filed a motion to dismiss its appeal Thursday, according to the legal document that Dickson shared with LifeNews.com.
“We have said from the beginning that the abortion bans we have drafted are bulletproof from court challenge, and we are pleased that the litigation over Lubbock’s ordinance has proven us right,” Dickson said.
The Lubbock ordinance is historic because it is the first time that an abortion ban has survived a court challenge since Roe v. Wade in 1973, he said.
The Texas heartbeat law, which prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, also is in effect, saving thousands of unborn babies’ lives, but the legal battle over the law is on-going.
The Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance is similar to the Texas heartbeat law in that it has a private enforcement mechanism. It makes abortionists and those who help them “liable in tort to a surviving relative of the aborted unborn child, including the unborn child’s mother, father, grandparents, siblings or half-siblings,” meaning the abortionist can be sued for aborting the unborn child.
“By adopting this unique private-enforcement scheme, the city of Lubbock made its ordinance immune from pre-enforcement lawsuits because neither the city nor its officials have any role in enforcing the law, so they cannot be subjected to lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of the ordinance,” Dickson explained.
The ordinance also has a public enforcement mechanism that establishes fines against the abortionist and anyone who helps with an abortion within city limits, but it cannot be enforced until Roe v. Wade is overturned.
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 outlines legal consequences for abortionists who abort unborn babies. It does not penalize women who seek or have abortions, and it does not prohibit abortions when the mother’s life is at risk.
The legal victory in Lubbock is an encouraging sign for other cities that also hope to protect unborn babies through Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinances.
“We will continue our work to enact similar ordinances in other cities throughout the United States,” Dickson said.
To date, more than 40 cities in Texas, Nebraska and Ohio have passed the pro-life ordinances that ban abortions in their city limits. Though abortion activists have threatened legal action, the cities have been successful in court. In 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union dropped its lawsuit challenging pro-life ordinances in seven other Texas cities.