Big Win for the Pro-Life Movement: Planned Parenthood Drops Lawsuit Against Sanctuary City for the Preborn

Planned Parenthood has decided not to pursue an appeal in their case against Lubbock, Texas, for outlawing abortion in its city shortly after Planned Parenthood began performing abortions within city limits. This is a win for the pro-life movement. Abortionists and those that defend them see the legal writing on the wall. The days of abortion on demand in America are coming to an end. 

The people of Lubbock made headline news last May when they approved a proposal to make the city a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn.” The measure passed with overwhelming support—62% in favor of the proposal and 38% opposed. 

The “sanctuary city for the unborn” movement began in 2019 in East Texas. To date, more than 40 cities across the country have enacted similar city laws. Lubbock is the largest city, with a population of just over a quarter million, to pass a sanctuary city law for the preborn. 

The Lubbock ballot initiative bans abortion within city limits and creates a private cause of action so that private citizens can sue abortionists for providing abortions. 

Regarding the proposal’s legality, Right to Life East Texas explained, “The ordinance is structured in a manner similar to the Texas Heartbeat Act, which outlaws abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable but prohibits state officials from enforcing the law, instead authorizing private citizens to sue those who perform or aid or abet illegal abortions. 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.”

Planned Parenthood immediately challenged the law in court, asking a federal court to issue an injunction blocking the law from enforcement. The federal court declined to issue an injunction because Planned Parenthood didn’t have the right to bring the case. The Daily Citizen discussed more of the federal court’s reasoning here

Without the injunction in place, Planned Parenthood announced in June 2021 that it would no longer be performing abortions in Lubbock, Texas. 

Now, eight months after the sanctuary city law was passed, Planned Parenthood has officially announced that it will drop its appeal of the federal court decision. 

Ken Lambrecht, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, said in a statement, “While we have determined not to move forward with this appeal, this is not the end of our fight in Lubbock, and we continue to consider all legal options to challenge this unconstitutional local ban.”

Mark Lee Dickson, Director of Right To Life of East Texas and the founder of Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, said, “We are thrilled that Planned Parenthood has dropped its lawsuit against the city of Lubbock, which was meritless from the outset. The city has no role in enforcing this abortion ban, so it cannot be sued by those who oppose the ordinance.” 

Dickson continued, “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. We will continue our work to enact similar ordinances in other cities throughout the United States.” 

According to Right to Life East Texas, “The Lubbock ordinance marks the first time that an abortion ban has survived court challenge in the United States since Roe v. Wade.” 

Do you live in a city that protects preborn human life? If not, this is your opportunity to change that! Consider contacting your local officials and encourage them to protect human life by becoming a sanctuary city for the preborn. The tide is changing in the abortion debate. For too long, abortion advocates have had the upper hand in advancing death. Not anymore. The momentum is on the side of life. This is your moment to make a difference for the pro-life cause!

Photo from Shutterstock.

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