Texas city’s ordinance creating ‘Sanctuary for the Unborn’ takes effect

After a federal court dismissed Planned Parenthood’s challenge to a Lubbock ordinance that declares the city a “Sanctuary for the Unborn,” a lawyer with the Chicago-based Thomas More Society said he believes these sanctuary cities have solid footing in Texas law.

“Cities have the right to regulate businesses and practices within their bounds. A municipality may choose to allow gambling, or even prostitution, or may criminalize it,” said Erick Kaardal, special counsel at the pro-life law firm. “Abortion is a business, driven by profit, and is required to abide by municipal regulations.”

On June 1, Judge James W. Hendrix of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division, dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction, saying Planned Parenthood failed to show, “as they must,” it has standing to sue the city.

In September 2020, a committee of Lubbock residents filed a petition proposing an “ordinance outlawing abortion within the city of Lubbock, declaring Lubbock a sanctuary city for the unborn.” The city’s charter allows for voter-proposed ordinances to be put up for a citywide vote.

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