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"Sanctuary city for the unborn" petition is valid

Weston Davis/Texas Tech Public Media

A citizens’ petition submitted to make Lubbock a “sanctuary city for the unborn,” is valid. The announcement came the same day that Planned Parenthood reopened in the city— the facility plans to provide abortion services in 2021.

The organizing committee, led by seven people including State Sen. Charles Perry, submitted the petition on October 13.

Lubbock City secretary, Becky Garza was tasked with verifying the petition signatures, “We had 818 petition pages,” she said during Monday’s press conference. “That was a lot to look at.” They needed 3,651 valid signatures. The group submitted a petition had 5,780—4,520 of those were validated by Garza and her office.

Mark Lee Dickson, with Right to Life East Texas, helped the committee organize the initiative. He’s helped 16 other cities adopt this ordinance – none the size of Lubbock. On Saturday before a rally for Texas Republican Party Chairman, Allen West, Dickson talked about the work that went into getting the signatures.

“The way the petition is, [it must include] your date of birth or the registration,” he said. “We wanted to be safe though, so we went ahead and made sure that the voter registration is on there.”

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Lubbock city council was briefed by an outside legal counsel. The law firm identified four major conflicts with the ordinance—namely the ordinance contradicts state law. Since abortion is legal in Texas, if the ordinance passes, it will immediately be void.

Nonetheless, Garza will present a resolution along with the certified petition to city council on November 2. From there, they have 30 days to hold a public hearing on the issue and vote on it.

If rejected, the organizing committee can bring it to the public to vote on during the next election in May.

Have a news tip? Email Kaysie Ellingson at Follow her reporting on Twitter @KaysieEllingson.

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