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Lubbock, Texas, passed a “sanctuary city for the unborn” ordinance, an attempt to ban abortion within the city. The ban would allow anyone to sue to enforce the ban—and not just anyone in Lubbock or Texas. Anyone in the country could decide to sue a Lubbock abortion provider. Or a few thousand people could decide to sue one of those providers at once.
The law isn’t being enforced for now, thank goodness, but that could change.
Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions in Lubbock, challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance in federal court. But in a shocking decision, the court dismissed the case. And the logic used to justify the decision should alarm anyone concerned about abortion rights. Because the Lubbock ban isn’t the only one with this terrible clause—the statewide Texas ban, which is also currently unenforceable, would also allow for private enforcement of their ban should it ever take effect.
On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy dissect the impact of this shocking decision. They also give their weekly update on the latest developments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the direct challenge to Roe v. Wade that the Supreme Court is expected to hear in the fall.
Correction: An earlier version of this post mistated the gestational age at which the Lubbock ordinance bans abortion. The ordinance is a total abortion ban.