Guest post by Katherine Cochran, SFLA Industry Impact Captain in Texas
Have you ever furrowed your brow and wondered how you could directly help save babies from the deathly grasp of abortion? I have. And then Planned Parenthood made a bold move: they announced they were opening a facility in my town of Lubbock, Texas. It was then I knew I had to act. I had the extreme privilege of meeting Mark Lee Dickson. Mark is a pastor and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative that has been sweeping across the state of Texas.
During the 2019 Texas legislative session, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 22 that prohibited state funding to abortion vendors. This bill includes an amendment that expressly says the bill does not restrict a city or county from prohibiting abortion.
After this bill passed, Dickson formulated a city ordinance that effectively prohibits abortion within city limits and is Constitutionally enforceable (even under the current era of Roe). Jonathan Mitchell, an attorney, former Texas Solicitor General, and former member of President Trump’s legal team, has offered to represent Texas cities pro bono should they choose to incorporate this ordinance into their city law. This ordinance, known as the Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance has been passed into city law in 16 Texas cities as of this writing (with one city rescinding its ordinance for a resolution). Abortion is effectively being outlawed, city by city, in the state of Texas.
The people of Lubbock, Texas (population 258,862) acted in response to Planned Parenthood’s plans to gain access to its children. We presented the Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance to our city council and mayor. (Actually, our State Senator, Charles Perry, and our elected state representatives, Dustin Burrows and John Frullo, officially presented the ordinance to our city council.)
I regret to inform you that Lubbock’s City Council ignored us. They ignored our phone calls, our emails, and the free legal counsel offered by attorney Jonathan Mitchell. Nothing. No response.
So, the people of Lubbock acted again. We collected signatures to present a city-charter-sanctioned petition to the city council. 5,780 notarized and verified signatures collected in a little over two weeks.
The City reviewed and verified 4,526 Lubbock signatures and declared the petition valid October 26, 2020. This paperwork was submitted to the City Council on November 2nd where the city declared a public hearing for November 17th where arguments will be heard for and against the ordinance.
Planned Parenthood is now operating and taking appointments. They have said they will not sell medical or surgical abortions until the new year, but that is not far off. If the City Council votes the ordinance down, the city secretary has declared that the referendum portion outlined by the city charter can take place at the next general election: May of 2021. By then it is almost certain Planned Parenthood will be committing abortions in Lubbock, Texas and, very likely, for people coming from Midland, San Angelo, Amarillo, Abilene, Clovis, NM, Plainview, Big Spring… from all over West Texas, Eastern New Mexico, and the Panhandle.
I believe Lubbock will effectively outlaw abortion within its borders. But we are fighting a City Council and a Mayor who are not pro-life. For more information, find Mark Lee Dickson on Facebook or see sanctuarycitiesfortheunborn.com.