Last weekend, residents gathered together for the Lubbock March for Life—the first gathering of its kind in the city.

The Lubbock Area Republican Women hosted the two-day event with help from leaders of various organizations, including West Texas for Life, Right to Life of East Texas, Raiders Defending Life at Texas Tech, Turning Point USA at Texas Tech, Project Destiny, and the Conservative Action Network.

The three-part event took place at three separate locations, and it’s estimated well over a thousand people attended. The first event took place outside of Planned Parenthood, the second event at Church of the Blessed International, and the third at The Worship Center – West Campus.

The event was organized because Chalon Goodley, president of the Lubbock Area Republican Women, was concerned about Planned Parenthood’s desire to start performing surgical and medical abortions in the city, with the message “abortion is healthcare.”

“It is not women’s healthcare,” said Goodley. “Abortion is murder, plain and simple. And we want to end that in our city.”

She explained her goal was not to run Planned Parenthood out of the city, but to do her part to end the slaughter of innocent babies before it begins.

Karis Peters, president of Turning Point USA at Lee University in Tennessee, was one of the many speakers who traveled for the March for Life. “The world will proudly tell you that it’s the woman’s choice because it’s her body. But the fact is if it’s the woman’s body, then why isn’t she the one who dies?” she asked. “It’s the baby’s body. The baby is the one who is dying.”

Many of the event’s speakers could not ignore the fact that they were speaking right in front of the new Planned Parenthood Lubbock Health Center. Dr. Karysse Trandem, who had flown in from Florida, challenged the organization’s idea that “abortion is healthcare.”

Dr. Trandem is a practicing obstetrician and gynecologic surgeon who has been board-certified for the last seven years. Through her practice, she has seen patterns of distress in women who have had abortions.

She’s researched at the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C. and the World Health Organization in Switzerland, and she has compiled a list of the risks facing women who undergo an abortion.

“Healthcare is not abortion,” Dr. Trandem confidently said. “The risks to women are four-fold.”

(1) Breast Cancer. Women who have one abortion have a 30 – 40 percent increased risk of breast cancer in their lifetime.


(2) Preterm Birth. Women who have a surgical abortion have a 36 percent increased chance of having a preterm birth because their cervix was damaged from an abortion.


(3) Uterine Damage. There can be a hemorrhage that occurs when an active pregnancy is separated from the wall of the uterus. That can lead to severe hemorrhage, even death, and scarring that prevents future pregnancies.


(4) Mental Health Issues. Women who have one abortion have an 81 percent increased risk of having emotional health problems that stays with them for the rest of their life. Like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a higher rate of suicide.

Pointing to the new Planned Parenthood Lubbock Health Center, Republican Party Chair Allen West asked those in attendance, “You see the name of this building over there?”

“There are a lot of people talking about white supremacists. There are a lot of people talking about being racist,” he continued. “But the person who founded that organization was a white supremacist. She was a racist. She spoke at the Ku Klux Klan rallies. She referred to black people as undesirables and weeds. But yet, we have people who support this organization?”

West went on to talk about how more than 20 million unborn black babies have been murdered in the womb since Roe v. Wade, all because of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.

Currently, there are no abortion clinics in Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland, and Odessa. As reported by CBS Austin, “Those four cities—along with Rapid City, South Dakota—are the farthest from an abortion clinic among all U.S. cities with more than 50,000 residents.”

Lubbock is the farthest out of the five; late last year, Planned Parenthood opened up a facility there.

If the facility starts providing surgical and medical abortions, as they have said they are planning to do this year, this will change abortion logistics in West Texas.

Unlike other pro-life rallies, the purpose of the event was not to see the overturning of Roe v. Wade, nor to see any particular piece of pro-life legislation pass in Austin or Washington D.C.

The purpose of the event was to rally the vote for a city ordinance to outlaw abortion, which Lubbock citizens will vote on May 1. The Lubbock City Council voted against it in November, which triggered the referendum option in the city charter.

During the event, Joaquin City Councilman Mike Cummings Jr. shared how his city was the fourth to outlaw abortion and the third to be mentioned in a lawsuit from the ACLU. The lawsuit didn’t cost the city or taxpayers one penny and was withdrawn later.

As Councilman Cummings looked out into the crowd Saturday morning, he said, “The more we do these things, the more familiar each face becomes.” He pointed out Paul and Lynna Zapata from Morton in the audience. “The Zapatas were instrumental in leading the charge in their city becoming a Sanctuary City for the Unborn. They are here in Lubbock to say, ‘We did it in our town, where we live and raise our kids. It’s time to do it in Lubbock!’”

Next, Cummings pointed to J.C. Archuleta from Big Spring, who was sitting almost directly in front of him. “J.C. Archuleta went in front of his council and mayor for three months, telling them that he wants his city to become a Sanctuary City for the Unborn,” he said. “He is here today in Lubbock as someone who has been here before. He supports our efforts!”

Mayor Javier Joven from Odessa was also in attendance. While his city has not yet outlawed abortion, Mayor Joven is hopeful to pass such an ordinance in the near future. Representatives from Texas Right to Life, Right to Life of East Texas, and West Texas for Life all prayed over Mayor Joven at the Saturday morning gathering, which concluded the Lubbock March For Life.

A total of 18 cities outlawed abortion in Texas, with many other cities considering the measure in the near future. On May 1, Lubbock citizens will cast their vote, and abortion will either be outlawed or allowed within the city limits.

For more information about the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, citizens are encouraged to visit

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to

Mark Lee Dickson

Mark Lee Dickson is a director with Right to Life of East Texas and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative.