(CNS News) -- A lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood against the city of Lubbock, Texas, which had declared itself a “sanctuary city” for the unborn, was thrown out by a federal district judge who said he lacked the jurisdiction to rule on the case and would leave the matter to the “state courts” to decide.
“Because plaintiffs fail to show, as they must, that they have Article III standing to sue the city, the Court dismisses the case for lack of jurisdiction,” said Judge Wesley Hendrix in his June 1 ruling for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division.
The judge’s decision followed only weeks after the ordinance was passed by the Lubbock City Council, to make it a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
As the ordinance reads, “We declare Lubbock, Texas to be a Sanctuary City for the Unborn. Abortion at all times and at all stages of pregnancy is declared to be an act of murder, subject to the affirmative defenses described in Section D(3).”
“It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the City of Lubbock, Texas,” reads the ordinance, and, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the City of Lubbock, Texas.”
“The Lubbock ordinance is enforced solely by private citizens, not state or local actors,” reported the Texas Tribune. Because of this “the judge said his rulings could not prevent private parties from filing civil lawsuits in state court.”
Lubbock is not the first city to declare itself a “Sanctuary City” doe the unborn, but it is the largest and the first to have an active abortion clinic within the city.
Mark Lee Dickson, director of the Right to Life of East Texas, anticipates further lawsuits. "We have said from the beginning that this ordinance is completely bulletproof from pre-enforcement lawsuits,” he said.
Pro-abortion advocate Andriana Pion, senior staff attorney of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, speaking on behalf of herself and Planned Parenthood, said the “organization was disappointed the court did not hear the ‘substance’ of the lawsuit, and that people in Lubbock would be not be able to ‘access essential health care’ as a result.”