Planned Parenthood sues Texas city for becoming largest ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’

An activist holds a rosary while protesting against abortion outside City Hall in Los Angeles, California September 29, 2015.
An activist holds a rosary while protesting against abortion outside City Hall in Los Angeles, California September 29, 2015. | Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

A Planned Parenthood abortion clinic has filed a lawsuit against a city in Texas over its recent vote to approve an ordinance that bans abortions from being performed in their jurisdiction.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Surgical Health Services filed the suit in federal court on Monday against the city of Lubbock, which recently became known as a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn.”

The complaint claims that the ordinance is unconstitutional since it “imposes substantial liability on anyone who procures, performs, aids, or abets an abortion in Lubbock, be it a doctor, nurse, relative, friend, or stranger.”

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“The Ordinance will prevent Plaintiffs from providing abortions in Lubbock and will seriously impede access to abortion. Consequently, the Ordinance plainly violates the constitutional right to abortion,” the suit argues.

“Plaintiffs (Planned Parenthood) bring this lawsuit to safeguard their patients’ constitutional right to abortion, to prevent the harm that the Ordinance will cause their patients’ health and well-being, and to preserve their own ability to fulfill their mission to provide comprehensive reproductive health care.”

Lubbock officials released a statement in response to the suit, vowing to “vigorously defend this ordinance” in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division.

The city is being represented by Heather Hacker and Andrew Stephens of Hacker Stephens LLP of Austin, and Fernando Bustos of the Bustos Law Firm, P.C., of Lubbock, according to the statement.

In recent years, several small towns, mostly in Texas, have passed ordinances stating that abortions will not be allowed within their city limits, despite current laws.

Lubbock became the largest city in the United States to identify as a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn” after the ordinance was approved via referendum with 62% of the vote on May 1.

In an earlier interview with The Christian Post, Mark Lee Dickson, the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn movement, called the referendum a “landslide” victory.

“I think it says a lot because Lubbock is the 11th-most populated city in the state of Texas and the 83rd most populated city in the United States of America,” Dickson said.

“All cities at this point, with the exception of Lubbock, have outlawed abortion through their mayor and city council … I think this is the appropriate way it needs to be done — through the mayor and the council the people have elected.”  

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