Lubbock may soon be the 15th and largest city in Texas to become a “sanctuary city for the unborn” and outlaw abortion, pending the decision of the mayor and city council.
Several state lawmakers and local activists have been pushing the city to adopt an ordinance essentially banning abortion as the abortion provider Planned Parenthood moves forward with plans to open a new clinic in the city.
“The fact that ‘the outlawing of abortion within the city limits’ is even being discussed as an option for the City of Lubbock shows just how far the Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement has come,” Right to Life of East Texas Director Mark Dickson told The Daily Wire in an email. “What started in a city of 2,189 is now being entertained in a city of about 300,000.”
Dickson is the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative and the author of the proposed ordinance. State Sen. Charles Perry and state Reps. Dustin Burrows and John Frullo, all Republicans representing the Lubbock area, sent a letter to the city’s GOP mayor, Dan Pope, and the city council in August urging them to adopt Dickson’s 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. 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,” the letter says, according to Live Action.
“The battlefield to protect the unborn has shifted from the state to the local arena in recent years. For that reason, passing an ordinance designating Lubbock as a Sanctuary City for the Unborn will help to continue the Texas belief that life begins at conception, while also protecting the safety of mothers,” the letter says.
Planned Parenthood previously operated a clinic in Lubbock until a since-overturned law forced the clinic to shut down in 2013. The abortion provider recently posted new job listings on its website for a new facility in Lubbock, though it has said little else about the ongoing plans. Planned Parenthood blamed “harassment from extremists” for staying silent on many of the details of the proposed clinic.
“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,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement on its website. “Additional information, including health center opening date, location, and list of health services, will be shared when finalized.”
The proposed ordinance says that “It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the City of Lubbock, Texas,” and “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the City of Lubbock, Texas,” according to a copy of the ordinance obtained by The Texan.
The ordinance defines abortion as “the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant. The term does not include birth-control devices or oral contraceptives.”