After a federal judge’s ruling this week, Lubbock remains the largest city in America to ban the killing of babies.
The story began a month ago, when Lubbock citizens voted overwhelmingly to outlaw abortion within city limits. Lubbock joined 23 other Texas towns in becoming “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn” and was also the first with an actual operating abortion mill.
The new law states if an individual or business kills a child within city limits, they could face legal action not primarily from the government, but from private citizens.
“While the public enforcement mechanism is dependent upon the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the private enforcement mechanism is immediately enforceable,” stated Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right To Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative.
“Any person, corporation, or entity that commits an unlawful act … other than the mother of the unborn child that has been aborted, shall be liable in tort to the unborn child’s mother, father, grandparents, siblings and half-siblings,” the ordinance reads.
In response, abortion business Planned Parenthood sued the city, arguing the ordinance was unconstitutional and “preempted by state law.”
However, earlier this week, U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix dismissed the lawsuit, ruling the corporation lacked jurisdiction.
“Because plaintiffs fail to show, as they must, that they have Article III standing to sue the city, the Court dismisses the case for lack of jurisdiction,” the judge’s order read.
Hendrix also noted that Planned Parenthood admitted that “even if the court gave them everything they wanted, the court’s ruling would not bar private citizens from bringing the suit in state court, bind the state judiciary to its ruling, or force the ordinance’s repeal.”
Earlier this week, Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone wrote in a letter that Lubbock’s new ordinance doesn’t violate state law.
“In our view, Planned Parenthood has not shown that Lubbock’s ordinance is inconsistent with state law,” Stone wrote. “To the extent that the Court finds state law to be ambiguous regarding the merits of Planned Parenthood’s claims, the Court should abstain from exercising jurisdiction.”
After the ruling, pro-life activists, including Dickson, celebrated the decision that could save children’s lives.
“LIFE WINS! The case brought by Planned Parenthood against the City of Lubbock has been dismissed!” wrote Dickson. “We have said from the beginning that this ordinance is completely bulletproof from pre-enforcement lawsuits. The Court’s ruling today is an emphatic vindication of that.”
Once the ordinance took effect on June 1, Planned Parenthood announced they will no longer abort children in the city.
“BREAKING: Planned Parenthood has announced it has stopped killing babies in Lubbock, Texas after city voters passed a measure to ban abortions,” tweeted LifeNews.com.
Lubbock’s fight to protect children also comes after the Texas Heartbeat Act recently became law, making it illegal statewide to kill a baby once their heartbeat is detected.