Planned Parenthood Drops Lawsuit Over Lubbock Abortion Ban
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
By Jack Gournell | Monday, 24 January 2022 06:14 PM
Planned Parenthood late last week dropped its lawsuit challenging an abortion ban in Lubbock, Texas, that is fashioned after the statewide ban, leaving the city the largest anti-abortion ''sanctuary city'' in Texas.
The Thomas More Society lauded the move as ''a major and historic victory for the right to life'' in an emailed statement to Newsmax on Monday. ''This ensures that the ordinance, as judicially upheld, will remain in effect and it ends a lengthy courtroom battle over the city's abortion law,'' the statement said.
Lubbock voters approved the ordinance on May 1, 2021, with more than 63% voting in favor, KFDA reported.
Planned Parenthood then filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of its patients, physicians and staff in Lubbock, according to the station.
But on Friday, the group dropped its appeal following a Thursday ruling by the Supreme Court to send the case back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Lubbock's ordinance is crafted in the same manner as Texas' law that bypasses local officials, instead giving private citizens enforcement rights by suing abortion providers. The method prevents lawsuits from being filed against the ordinance before an actual case is filed.
''It is clear we cannot depend on the courts to protect our constitutional rights, as our challenge to S.B. 8 continues to languish with no end in sight and abortion access hangs by a thread across the country,'' Ken Lambrecht, head of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told KFDA.
Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Society president and chief counsel, applauded the decision, telling Newsmax: ''We congratulate the city of Lubbock for successfully defending its abortion ban in court. This is a major and historic victory, as it marks the first time that an abortion ban has survived court challenge since the United States Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.''
''This novel and ingenious strategy of enforcing abortion restrictions and saving lives is working,'' Brejcha said. ''It is allowing abortion bans to take effect and save lives despite the continued existence of Roe v. Wade.''
He said other state or local jurisdictions should use the model to ''pass and insulate pro-life statutes or ordinances against the usual court challenges filed by abortionists.''
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Justice Sotomayor wrote in her defense of the high court ruling that state officials ''knew that the fear and confusion caused by this legal-procedural labyrinth would restrict citizens from accessing constitutionally-protected medical care, providers from offering it, and federal courts from restoring it.''