I am probably not alone in feeling disheartened by elected officials who are proving themselves to be politicians rather than public servants who do the right thing by the people who elected them.

What does it mean to be a Republican?

To Texans—especially in Lubbock—it means you hold a moral and ethical commitment to protect the sanctity of lives from conception to natural death. The sanctity of life is so important to more than 90 percent of local Republicans that it is the first and overriding principle in the Lubbock County Republican Party platform.

Planned Parenthood has been kept out of Lubbock to date due to the overwhelming conscientious objection of local residents. The evidence demonstrates that it has helped ensure that babies are not being euthanized in Lubbock.

  • According to Texas Health and Human Services ITOP (Induced Termination of Pregnancy) statistics, 53,843 abortions were performed in Texas in 2017 alone, but only 0.4 percent of those abortions were performed in Lubbock County. 
  • While 3 out of 4 abortions in Texas were performed on minorities—and a Black baby is more than two times more likely to be aborted than a white baby in Texas—Lubbock has kept that from happening in their community.

As a conservative, Christian community, Lubbock residents have appealed to Mayor Dan Pope and the city council since August 25 to enact a proposed ordinance making Lubbock a Sanctuary City for the Unborn and continue to protect unborn lives from being euthanized. To date, the Mayor and the city council have not supported the ordinance.

Finally, more than 5,000 people signed an emergency petition to compel the City to act on the proposed ordinance. The signatures were validated earlier this week by the city secretary and will be presented to the mayor and city council at next Tuesday’s city council meeting. According to the Lubbock City Charter, the City will now have 30 days to vote on the ordinance and hold a public hearing. If the City votes it down, as is anticipated, it will go to the voters in May 2021, months after Planned Parenthood will have been performing abortions.

As reported in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Pope, the city council, and even Joe Pojman (the aerospace engineer professor who is the Director of Texas Alliance for Life) oppose the ordinance, saying it would cost the city to defend. Disregarding the facts, Pojman went on to claim that passing an ordinance in Lubbock protecting the lives of unborn babies “will not save a single baby.”

At the October 21 Coffee With the Mayor event held at the Boys & Girls Club, Pope said he was a Republican; but when pressed by Pastor Mark Lee Dickson, founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, Pope admitted that he found the Republican Party platform to be so far “right that there’s a lot of things I cannot ascribe to.”

Mayor Pope cannot ascribe to the first and most valued clause on the Republican Party platform.

The media have been silent on this public admission by Pope. If people knew, would they think it’s right to campaign as a conservative Republican representing the values of the people of Lubbock when you do not believe in Life, the party’s most fundamental principle?

Not only did Pope make a pretense of seeking legal guidance to help him support Planned Parenthood by going to the known pro-abortion law firm of Olson & Olson, he specifically hired its attorney, Art Pertile, who Dickson explains has a history of unsound legal opinion. Pertile wrote the Waco city ordinance against pro-life advocates, for example, which was shot down in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as unconstitutional.

Pope also has a history of failing to disclose to Lubbock residents that he’s following Michael Bloomberg, along with Pertile and other members of the Texas Municipal League and U.S. Conference of Mayors. Their progressive agenda is designed to transform the city and the country. As reported on Pratt on Texas, Pope and numerous other Texas mayors have followed their calls to action on everything: growing the size and budgets of city governments, raising taxes, expanding social welfare programs, police reform and racial justice, and unprecedented COVID-19 lockdowns that have decimated the city’s economy and the health and welfare of countless people. Pope’s done this all the while making a pretense of seeking support from politically unbiased and sound sources.

Pope said on Wednesday he believed that the Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance was unconstitutional and unenforceable, and “was not good policy.” Saving the lives of babies is now about policy?

He went on to say he has not and would not consult with former Solicitor General of Texas Jonathan F. Mitchell. Pope said they wouldn’t take services that were provided free to the City, such as those offered by Mitchell. Why not?

Mitchell had represented the seven Sanctuary for the Unborn Texas cities that had been threatened with ALCU lawsuits. Subsequently, every one of the lawsuits was withdrawn, and no city or taxpayer has had to pay any legal fees to fight the lawsuits. To this day, the sanctuary ordinance has stood in every city where it’s been enacted. Any argument claiming the ordinance to be unconstitutional has proven to be spurious, and the laws of Texas have so far shown to provide for cities taking such enforceable actions.

If Pope and our city leaders honestly believed in the sanctity of life, they would not hesitate to adopt the ordinance. Backed by the citizens and proven winning legal representation, wouldn’t they willingly fight for the lives of the unborn? Wouldn’t they welcome making Lubbock the 17th Texas city to stand up to abortionists?

This is troubling. Actions say a lot about what someone truly believes and the strength of their convictions.

This is a commentary republished with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.

Sandy Szwarc

Sandy Szwarc, BSN, RN is a graduate of U.T. Austin and a researcher and writer on health and science issues for more than 30 years.