Lubbock wards off challenge to "refuge law" brought by Planned Parenthood.
Roe v. Wade might be considered the “law of the land,” but a number of cities are deciding it is not the law in their municipalities.
And one of them, Lubbock, Texas, just won a court case that upheld the concept of “sanctuary cities for the unborn.”
A grass-roots organization called Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn assists pro-life residents to get their city councils to make abortion illegal within their town or city. The name apparently is inspired the Sanctuary City movement, in which officials decide not to cooperate with immigration officials in removing illegal immigrants.
The citizens of Lubbock earlier this year voted to make their West Texas town a sanctuary for the unborn. Some members of the city council advised against it, warning of a costly legal battle.
And that battle commenced when Planned Parenthood, assisted by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, sued the city, saying the ordinance is unconstitutional.
But on June 1, Judge James W. Hendrix of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division, dismissed the challenge, saying Planned Parenthood did not have standing in the case.
Voters passed the ordinance May 1, with 62% supporting the measure. It took effect June 1, the same day the District Court dismissed the lawsuit against it.
The Texas Tribune explained that the ordinance would not be enforced by the government unless the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe or made other changes to abortion laws. The court will be hearing arguments in a case that is thought to be the strongest challenge yet to the 1973 decision.
Lubbock’s law relies on private citizens filing lawsuits, the newspaper said. “The unborn child’s mother, father, grandparents, siblings and half-siblings,” under the ordinance, can sue the provider or someone who assists another person in getting an abortion, such as by driving them to a clinic.
There are almost 30 sanctuary cities for the unborn in Texas, the state where the Roe v. Wade case originated.