Planned Parenthood sued on Monday a Texas city that had declared itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Surgical Health Services and Dr. G. Sealy Massingill sued the city Monday night, alleging the “Ordinance Outlawing Abortion” violates the Fourteenth Amendment.
“It imposes substantial liability on anyone who procures, performs, aids, or abets an abortion in Lubbock, be it a doctor, nurse, relative, friend, or stranger,” the complaint reads. The complaint also alleges the law violates state law because the city doesn’t have the power to “create civil liability between private parties.”
The city approved the ordinance on May 1 banning abortion procedures within city limits. The measure passed with 62% of the vote, with the city joining dozens of other cities with similar ordinances. The ordinance is set to take effect June 1.
Due to Roe v. Wade, the city government will not enforce the abortion ban, instead relying on citizens to sue, according to the Texas Tribune.
The complaint argues the “legal and financial risk to [Planned Parenthood] and to its personnel personally is too great,” under the ordinance’s rules.
“Even if [Planned Parenthood] were to successfully defend against a civil suit, the litigation costs from the barrage of civil lawsuits encouraged by the Ordinance would be crushing. Indeed, the Ordinance has already forced Plaintiffs to cancel abortion-related appointments to avoid potential liability.” (RELATED: Supreme Court Takes Up Major Abortion Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade)
The complaint alleges the ordinance forces Planned Parenthood to “cease all abortion services” which allegedly undermines Planned Parenthood’s “mission of providing affordable, comprehensive reproductive health care.”
The suit says the ordinance violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the “Constitution guarantees the right to abortion before viability,” and the ordinance “Bans pre-viability abortions.”
“The city of Lubbock, TX thinks it can ban abortion and defy nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent,” Planned Parenthood said in a tweet. “They’re wrong – and we’ll see them in court.”
The city of Lubbock, TX thinks it can ban abortion and defy nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent. They’re wrong — and we’ll see them in court. pic.twitter.com/10gMoGtX4O
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) May 18, 2021
The suit seeks “declaratory and injunctive relief” which would invalidate the ordinance and prevent it from taking effect.
Lubbock released a statement saying “the city will vigorously defend this ordinance and looks forward to presenting that defense in court.”