Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Lubbock, Texas on Monday after the city declared itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn” ordinance that seeks to outlaw abortions.
The ordinance was passed by local voters earlier this month over the opposition of City Council members who warned it would cause a costly legal fight, the Texas Tribune reported.
The lawsuit seeks to stop the abortion ban which would reportedly take effect on June 1.
The city, in a news release, said it would “vigorously defend this ordinance and looks forward to presenting that defense in court.”
However the abortion ban couldn’t be enforced by the government unless the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision gets overturned, and would instead rely on potential family members of aborted fetuses suing the provider of the abortion,according to The Tribune.
The federal lawsuit, filed by Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Surgical Health Services, argues the threat of a lawsuit would put “great” risk on health-care providers.
“Even if they were to successfully defend against a civil suit, the litigation costs from the barrage of civil lawsuits encouraged by the ordinance would be crushing,” the complaint reads. “Indeed, the Ordinance has already forced Plaintiffs to cancel abortion-related appointments to avoid potential liability.”’
“Therefore, the Ordinance leaves Plaintiffs no choice but to cease all abortion services in Lubbock. That will undermine Plaintiffs’ mission of providing affordable, comprehensive reproductive health care (especially to patients from underserved communities).”
“The city of Lubbock, TX thinks it can ban abortion and defy nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent,” Planned Parenthood wrote in a tweet. “They’re wrong – and we’ll see them in court.”
Abortion opponents were unfazed.
“The ordinance language is solid and was carefully drafted in expectation of the abortion industry filing a lawsuit,” said spokesperson for Texas Right to Life Kimberlyn Schwartz.