Planned Parenthood ‘Dismisses’ Lawsuit Challenging Lubbock Abortion Ban

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas filed an unopposed motion last week to drop its appeal of a federal judge’s ruling against the abortion provider in a case against Lubbock, Texas. The end of the lawsuit means that Lubbock will retain its ban on abortions and status as a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” Pro-life advocates are declaring the end of the litigation to be a “historic victory” for life.

Lubbock passed its ordinance against abortions last May, prohibiting abortions inside city limits “at all times and stages” of pregnancy. The city law also provides relatives of an aborted child, including fathers and grandparents, with the right to sue abortion providers for damages.

The measure passed in a public referendum, with 63 percent of voters approving. It also makes it a violation for anyone to “knowingly aid or abet” an abortion procedure. That would include anyone providing a mother with funding to receive an abortion. The law does not offer exceptions for assault or incest but exempt cases where an abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life.

Planned Parenthood charged the city in federal court immediately after the law. It announced last June that it was suspending abortion activities in the city at a facility it had opened in 2020.

The lawsuit was dismissed by District Judge James Wesley Hendrix, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Donald Trump. He found that Planned Parenthood lacked legal standing to sue the city in that the city does not have the authority to implement the ordinance. Planned Parenthood appealed the dismissal to the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The abortion giant dropped that appeal last week after the Supreme Court refused to accelerate the appeal of a lawsuit challenging the Texas Heartbeat Act, which prohibits abortions statewide after a fetal heartbeat is medically detected. That law now remains in effect, and the lawsuit has been sent to the Texas state Supreme Court for further action.

Right to Life East Texas praised the end of the Lubbock litigation as a major victory for the right to life. Director Mark Lee Dickson said that his organization believed that the lawsuit was without merit from the start and reinforces his belief that the Texas right to life laws are “bulletproof from court challenge.”

State Senator Charles Perry of Lubbock also hailed the termination of the lawsuit. He said he congratulates the city for being the first jurisdiction in the United States to successfully have an abortion ban upheld since Roe v. Wade in 1973. He declared the result was an answer to “so many of our prayers.”