Lubbock County commissioners voted in favor of an ordinance that affirms the county as a sanctuary for the unborn. 

In a vote of 3-0-2, with Judge Curtis Parrish and Commissioner Gilbert Flores abstaining, the court approved the ordinance outlawing abortion, abortion-inducing drugs, and abortion trafficking within the unincorporated area of Lubbock County. 

“The Lubbock County Commissioners’ Court finds that abortion is a murderous act of violence that purposefully and knowingly terminates an unborn human life,” reads the ordinance. “The Lubbock County Commissioners’ Court finds that Texas men and women are being hurt and traumatized by abortion across our Texas–New Mexico border and sent back to Texas for our county and our cities to deal with the aftermath in our homes, schools, churches, and hospitals.” 

The ordinance also declares that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson allows state and local governments to “regulate and prohibit abortion as they see fit.” Furthermore, the ordinance states that during the “87th Legislative Session, the State of Texas allowed municipalities and political subdivisions to outlaw and prohibit abortion and establish penalties and remedies against those who perform or enable unlawful abortions.”

In May 2021, Lubbock became the 26th city in the nation to pass an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within its city limits. It passed a citizens vote with 62.64 percent in favor and 35.54 percent against. 

Last month, Cochran County Commissioners unanimously approved a similar ordinance prohibiting abortion within the unincorporated part of the county. The ordinance restricts access to its highways and airport for anyone seeking to traffic pregnant women for abortions across state lines. 

Two other counties in the state adopted similar proposals to Cochran County’s earlier this year—Mitchell County in West Texas and Goliad County in South Texas. Both ordinances rely on residents to bring civil actions against others that they believe violate it.  

“The passage makes the county the FOURTH COUNTY in Texas, and the SIXTH county in the nation, to pass a “Sanctuary County for the Unborn” ordinance outlawing abortion,”  Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right to Life of East Texas and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, told Texas Scorecard. “The ordinance covers the unincorporated area of Lubbock County, Texas. A total of 73 political subdivisions have now passed Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn ordinances throughout the United States.”

Dickson also added that the ordinance does not interfere with an individual’s right to travel and is only enforceable through the private enforcement mechanism.

“This ordinance does not interfere with anyone’s right to travel – neither the born or the unborn. This ordinance prohibits abortion trafficking, which like sex trafficking, is a great evil in our country worthy of being abolished in every single state in America,” said Dickson. “The ordinance is enforceable through the private enforcement mechanism which has proven its success in both the Lubbock City Ordinance and the Texas Heartbeat Act. This is how the ordinance is enforced.”

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.