Voters of Lubbock will decide on Saturday, May 1, if their West Texas city will outlaw abortion and become the state’s next “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
“They’re murdering babies here in our city,” said West Texas for Life’s Jim Baxa, according to The Texas Tribune. “We need to stop that.”
If passed, the ordinance would ban abortions within Lubbock city limits and allow family members of a person who has an abortion to sue the abortion provider and anyone acting as an accessory, including driving a woman to a clinic. The ordinance would not be enforced by the government, however, until the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade or makes other changes to abortion laws.
The Tribune continues, noting that the pro-life sanctuary city movement began back in 2019 with a little town called Waskom:
The election could make the West Texas city a test case for a burgeoning movement that began in the East Texas town of Waskom and has since prompted some two dozen cities to try to outlaw abortions. Nearly all of them are in Texas, but Lubbock is the largest and the first that is home to an abortion provider — Planned Parenthood, which opened a clinic to offer birth control and screenings for cancer and sexually transmitted infections last fall. The clinic began providing abortions this month.
Declaring Lubbock a sanctuary city for the unborn is an effort two years in the making. Led by state Sen. Charles Perry, pro-life activists in the city gathered enough signatures to bring the measure to the City Council. Although the council unanimously rejected the proposal at the time, the city’s charter rules allowed for it to be put to a public vote.
In a letter calling for the ordinance be placed on the ballot, activists declared that they were fighting for unborn children “because we fear God, view the intentional shedding of the blood of unborn children to be an inconceivably wicked action, and we believe that we all have a responsibility to protect the lives of the smallest and most vulnerable humans among us.”
David Wilson, pastor at Southcrest Baptist Church, where Sen. Perry is a deacon, recalled an event earlier this month to rally and unify several area churches to support the ordinance, telling the Tribune he has hardly seen such unity and fervor across denominations.
“If this was a tax issue, the churches wouldn’t be involved in this, obviously,” Wilson said. “But [a] moral issue has to do with life, and we believe that life is a gift from God.”
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