Analysis

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit tossed by judge as abortions stop in Lubbock, Texas

Lubbock

The ordinance making Lubbock, Texas a sanctuary city for preborn children went into effect on June 1st, and accordingly, Planned Parenthood has stopped committing abortions there. Meanwhile, a judge has thrown out Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit attempting to stop the ordinance from going into effect.

In a statement released to local news, Planned Parenthood said they will begin committing abortions again when it is legally permissible. Its abortion facility was the only one in the city, which means Lubbock is, for now, abortion-free.

“Due to the controversial ordinance passed on May 1, Lubbock residents are currently required to travel to access a safe, legal abortion. This ban on abortions provides no exemptions, even in cases of rape and incest. The ban on abortion violates patients’ constitutional right to an abortion and we’re in court to block this ban for Lubbock patients,” Ken Lambrecht, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told Everything Lubbock. He added, “Access to healthcare services, including abortion, should not be determined by ZIP code, especially when restrictions disproportionately impact low-income Texans and people of color. Planned Parenthood will continue advocating for access to abortion for any Texan, including here in Lubbock.”

Planned Parenthood sued to overturn Lubbock’s sanctuary city status, claiming that the ordinance violates Roe v. Wade. The city of Lubbock, meanwhile, responded by promising to defend the ordinance in court, which a majority of city residents voted in favor of. This week, the lawsuit was thrown out. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix dismissed their claim, due to “lack of jurisdiction,” adding that Planned Parenthood must actually “show an injury that is fairly traceable to the city’s conduct.”

READ: If SCOTUS upholds Mississippi’s abortion ban, women and babies’ lives will be saved

“The U.S. Constitution and binding precedent make clear that federal courts do not exist to render advisory opinions on a law’s validity,” he said in his ruling. “Rather, this Court is limited to resolving actual cases and controversies.”

In a statement following the ruling, Lubbock praised Hendrix’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit. “Judge Hendrix issued a thorough and well-reasoned opinion in dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction, which is a threshold consideration for any court to make respecting a lawsuit before it,” the statement said. “The City is presently unaware of the plaintiffs’ intentions as to whether an appeal will be filed or whether additional lawsuits will be filed against the City. Nevertheless, the City will continue to vigorously defend the ordinance in any litigation that may be filed.”

There are currently 29 Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn in Texas, Nebraska, and Ohio with the majority located in Texas.

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