(LifeSiteNews) — A Texas county on Monday passed a new ordinance designed to protect its preborn residents, prohibiting surgical and chemical abortions and banning individuals from assisting pregnant mothers travel for an abortion.
On Monday, the Lubbock County Commissioners Court passed an ordinance declaring the county a “Sanctuary County for the Unborn,” the Lubbock Avalanche Journal reported.
Lubbock City already passed a measure establishing itself as a “sanctuary” for the unborn in 2021. The new measure will apply to the county’s unincorporated areas.
The measure, which passed by a 3-0 vote with two abstentions, took effect immediately and prohibits “abortion, abortion-inducing drugs and travel for abortion” in the county, the outlet reported. One of the commissioners who abstained from voting petitioned to delay the vote until March, but the motion failed 3-2.
With over 300,000 residents, the west Texas county close to the border of radically pro-abortion New Mexico is now the largest in the state to impose a ban on abortion-related travel.
Goliad, Mitchell and Cochran counties have also implemented similar measures.
Under the new ordinance, which was crafted in part by Jonathan Mitchell, the same pro-life attorney who helped create Texas’ heartbeat ban before the rollback of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, citizens are empowered to sue individuals who help pregnant moms abort their babies within the county or who use the county’s roads to assist a woman in the procurement of an abortion.
The Lubbock Avalanche Journal noted that the abortion-seeking women themselves will not be subject to lawsuits under the ordinance.
Speaking to the more than 100 people who attended the meeting, Texas pastor and pro-life advocate Mark Lee Dickson compared ending abortion with the abolition of historic slavery and said he looks forward to “the day (when), coast to coast, abortion is considered a great moral, social and political wrong and is outlawed in every single state.”
The Guardian noted that the ordinance, and similar ones passed in three other Texas counties, were conceived by Dickson along with Mitchell in an effort to put an end to abortion trafficking.
The reality of abortion trafficking, or abortion “tourism,” has become a new battleground for pro-life advocates to tackle after the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which many states have enacted laws to protect the unborn and many other states have moved in the opposite direction.
The patchwork nature of the laws has set up a dynamic in which pregnant mothers in pro-life states seeking to kill their preborn children might opt to travel across state borders in order to commit the abortion.
In the Southwest, Texas and New Mexico provide a stark representation of the conflict between pro-abortion and pro-life states.
The Lone Star State has implemented some of the most robust protections for the preborn in the country, prohibiting all abortions except if the mother suffers from a “life-threatening physical condition.” Pro-lifers point out that the deliberate killing of a preborn baby is never medically necessary.
Meanwhile, abortion is legal in neighboring New Mexico with no gestational limits, mandatory waiting periods, or requirements for parental notification.
In April, New Mexico’s far-left Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham reinforced the state’s radical pro-abortion stance by signing a law codifying legal protections to kill babies in the womb and commit mutilating transgender surgeries. The measure enshrines a previous executive action by Gov. Lujan Grisham to establish New Mexico as a sanctuary for abortion in opposition to laws recently passed in pro-life states.