Texas city hires law firm with family-ties to Planned Parenthood to review ordinance outlawing abortion
PETITION: Stop Planned Parenthood from Opening in Lubbock, Texas! Sign the petition here.
October 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The City of Lubbock is in hot water after bringing in a law firm with questionable family-ties to the abortion industry to review an ordinance that would outlaw abortion within their city limits.
In August three Lubbock-area members of the Texas Legislature sent a letter urging the Mayor and City Council of Lubbock (population 278,831) to enact an ordinance that would outlaw abortion within their city limits in an effort to thwart Planned Parenthood’s efforts to open a new abortion facility in Lubbock. It has been a challenge that the Mayor and City Council of Lubbock have not been able to ignore.
After numerous rallies and a continual outcry from the public which could not be stopped, the City of Lubbock responded to their state lawmakers by announcing that they had sent the ordinance to their city attorney’s office for legal review. A week later the City of Lubbock announced that the Olson & Olson law firm out of Houston, Texas would be assisting in their effort. A statement released to Everything Lubbock states, “The City of Lubbock continues its legal review of the proposed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance. The Olson & Olson law firm is assisting in this effort and will provide its review to the City Council at the earliest opportunity.”
Problems arose, however, when pro-life activists throughout the State of Texas realized the Olson & Olson lawfirm had family-ties to one of Planned Parenthood’s former Board Chairs.
Kris Kaiser Olson is the former Board Chair of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, the very same organization which has announced their plans to open up an abortion facility in Lubbock, Texas. According to their website, “The new Planned Parenthood health center in Lubbock will provide affordable healthcare services” with both “surgical and medication abortion services” available at a later date. Kris Kaiser Olson is the wife of Charles D. Olson, the nephew of Olson & Olson’s founder - William A. Olson Sr. Kris Kaiser Olson has been actively involved in opening Planned Parenthood facilities across Texas.
Some, including Mayor Dan Pope, have pointed out that Kris Kaiser Olson’s husband does not work at Olson & Olson in Houston, but Haley & Olson in Waco, arguing the absence of any connection which would be a conflict of interest for the Houston firm. Careful research, however, reveals otherwise.
While it is true that Kris’ husband is not a part of the Olson & Olson law firm in Houston, his uncle was William A. Olson Sr. and his cousin is William A. Olson Jr. - the two founding partners of the Olson & Olson law firm in Houston, Texas.
West Texas for Life President Jim Baxa said, “It is undeniable that Kris Kaiser Olson is the wife of Charles D. Olson and that he is, in fact, the nephew of William A. Olson Sr. You can find that much out by William A. Olson Sr.’s obituary.” Baxa continued, “If Kris Kaiser Olson had just been a volunteer at Planned Parenthood this wouldn’t have been that big of an issue, but the fact that she was involved in a leadership role with Planned Parenthood and can be found in pictures of Planned Parenthood ribbon-cutting ceremonies with abortion giants like Cecile Richards and Ken Lambrecht - that is an issue which cannot be ignored.”
In a January-March 2015 newsletter for Planned Parenthood of Greater East Texas, a picture of Kris Kaiser Olson at a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the South Dallas Surgical Health Services Center in Dallas, Texas with Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards and President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Ken Lambrecht. Kris Kaiser Olson was listed in the picture as the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Board Chair. Baxa is not the only pro-life leader who has found this issue concerning.
John Pisciotta, Director of Pro-Life Waco, said, “We’ve already determined that Olson & Olson has strong family ties to Kris Olson. Kris is one of the leaders of the Texas aboriton industry, serving as a board member of Planned Parenthood Waco and then Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas following a merger of three Planned Parenthood affiliates.” Pisciotta continued, “Kris served a full-term as chair of the board of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas following the merger of Austin / Waco / Dallas-Fort Worth affiliates.”
The law firm of Olson & Olson was said to be assisting the City of Lubbock in two areas: the enforceability of the ordinance and rather or not this was a matter more appropriate for State or Local Government. The question pertaining to the enforceability of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Ordinance and the question regarding if this is a matter for State or Local Government have already been answered by Senators, Representatives, Mayors, City Council members, and attorneys throughout the State of Texas.
The proposed Lubbock Ordinance has two major enforcement mechanisms: the public enforcement mechanism and the private enforcement mechanism. The ACLU has gone on record stating that the Private Enforcement section of the ordinance, as it is found in other Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn ordinances, is immediately enforceable.
In a lawsuit which was filed against seven Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn in late February, Texas Equal Access Fund and Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equality vs. City of Waskom et al, the ACLU stated in their lawsuit that the private enforcement mechanism “creates a civil cause of action against a person or entity that procures, aids, or abets an abortion, making them ‘liable in tort to any surviving relative’ of the fetus. It is immediately enforceable.”
The ACLU withdrew their lawsuit against seven Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn in late May. The lawsuit, which was brought by the ACLU, did not cost the cities or the taxpayers one cent. To this day abortion continues to remain outlawed in every city which enacted these ordinances.
When it comes to the question of State or Local responsibility Mayor Shannon Thomason of Big Spring, the largest city which has outlawed abortion, said, “It is absolutely the responsibility of mayors and city councils to step up and take responsibility for keeping abortion clinics out of their communities.” Thomason continued, “Even discounting the moral implications involved, abortion clinics tend to be ‘bad neighbors,’ bringing unintended consequences to the business districts they locate in. Speaking for my city, the citizens and business owners were overwhelmingly against having an abortion facility located in Big Spring.”
A councilman in City Park, a suburb of Austin, agrees that Local Government is a proper venue for this issue. “I think protecting our children from being murdered after they’re born . . . I don’t think that’s really a state issue. In most cases, if a child is killed after it is born, that’s considered murder,” Councilman Dorian Chavez said. “If, I guess, you do it when they’re still in the woman’s uterus . . . that’s just abortion, right? You’re still killing the baby. I’ve always stood for the kids, I’ve gotten a lot of heat for standing up for the children, but I’m going to keep doing that.” Councilman Chavez is hopeful that his city will soon be addressing the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn ordinance.
Speaking of Planned Parenthood returning Lubbock resident Dorothy Boyett said, “It’s getting closer but I am in this till the end. I will do all I can do and if the Mayor and the Council dig in their heels they will have no excuse on judgement day.” Boyett continued, “And when Planned Parenthood opens I vow I will be there with the Gospel to save babies and witness to the lost until my last breath, God willing!”
On September 25th West Texas for Life President Jim Baxa, a Director of Right To Life of East Texas, and several residents from the City of Lubbock went to Lubbock's Citizen's Tower to do what they believed the Lubbock Mayor and City Council was unwilling to do. The necessary paperwork was filed with the City of Lubbock, in accordance with the Lubbock City Charter, in order to start gathering signatures for the purpose of forcing a vote of the City Council on the ordinance outlawing abortion - regardless of what the attorneys at Olson & Olson say.
“If we collect enough signatures the City Council is forced to vote on the ordinance,” said Baxa. “At that point, if they vote the ordinance down it goes to a vote of the people of Lubbock.”
On Sunday, September 27th over 36 churches set up Signature Petition Stations within the doors of their churches. Residents throughout the City of Lubbock expect the ordinance outlawing abortion to be voted on during the month of October.
Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (806) 775-2010
Mayor Dan Pope
City of Lubbock
P.O. Box 2000
Lubbock, Texas 79457
Contact Lubbock City Council here.
Mark Lee Dickson is a Director with Right to Life of East Texans, a Pastor of SovereignLOVE Church in Longview, Texas, and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative.