One of Texas’ largest cities could soon become the state’s 15th “sanctuary city for the unborn” if pro-life activists have their way.
With an estimated population of 260,823, Lubbock is the 11th largest city in the Lone Star State. On Aug. 25, state Sen. Charles Perry and state Reps. Dustin Burrows and John Frullo wrote a letter to Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope urging him to enact a sanctuary city ordinance that would ban abortion within city limits.
“The battlefield to protect the unborn has shifted from the state to the local arena in recent years,” the lawmakers said in the letter. “For that reason, passing an ordinance designating Lubbock as a Sanctuary City for the Unborn will help to continue the Texas belief that life begins at conception, while also protecting the safety of mothers.”
The proposed ordinance declares that: “It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the city of Lubbock, Texas. ... It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the city ...”
The letter to Pope comes as Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, announced plans to open a new abortion clinic in Lubbock by the end of the year. “We respectfully request that the city of Lubbock take all necessary actions to prevent them from opening, since this organization profits off ending the lives of unborn children,” the lawmakers wrote.
Perry also launched a petition asking residents to “send a clear message that the abortion industry should not set up shop in our backyard.”
Two weeks after the lawmakers sent the letter to Pope, more than 200 Lubbock residents gathered outside of Lubbock’s Citizen’s Tower to express support for the proposed ordinance.
“This is not a matter that can wait until after the November election but must be addressed now,” Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right to Life of East Texas, said in a Facebook post featuring pictures of the gathering. “The Mayor and City Council have the opportunity to save a countless number of unborn children from being murdered within their city limits. The choice is theirs.”
Two years ago, a majority of Republican primary voters in Lubbock voted in favor of proposition 7 to abolish abortion. The proposition received the support of 15,480 Republican voters in Lubbock while 5,986 opposed it.
The Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative, led by Dickson and Right to Life of East Texas, had its first success last year when the East Texas city of Waskom became the first sanctuary city for the unborn.
Besides Lubbock, efforts to create sanctuary cities for the unborn extend into other larger Texas cities, including Abilene and San Angelo, both of which have more than 100,000 residents. The city of Big Spring, which has a population of slightly less than 30,000, is the largest city so far to have passed an ordinance banning abortion within city limits.
While Right to Life of East Texas has succeeded in convincing several Texas cities to establish themselves as sanctuaries for unborn babies, that has not stopped other Texas municipalities from going in the other direction on the issue of abortion.
The pro-life organization labeled Austin, the capital of Texas and one of the state’s largest metropolitan centers, as a “city of death” after its city council voted to “allocate $150,000 of taxpayer funds to help fund travel, lodging, child-care, and other support for Austin women who are planning on aborting their unborn child.”