UNITED STATES NEWS

West Texas county bans travel on its roads to help someone seeking an abortion

Oct 24, 2023, 10:53 AM

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Commissioners in a west Texas county have banned drivers from transporting a person seeking an abortion, making it the largest of five counties, three in Texas, that have approved the measure.

Lubbock County commissioners voted 3-0 Monday, with two abstentions, to approve the ban and declare the county a “Sanctuary County for the Unborn,” rejecting County Judge Curtis Parrish and the district attorney’s office request to postpone the vote.

The ordinance allows citizens to sue anyone who assists a person in traveling to get an abortion in Lubbock County or even traveling through the area to seek care elsewhere.

No violations of the travel prohibition, now approved in four Texas and two New Mexico counties, have been reported and the ordinance does not apply to the person seeking an abortion.

“This ordinance as written has many legal problems,” said Parrish, who joined Commissioner Gilbert Flores in abstaining. “This ordinance, however, does not have a problem with its intent or the intent of those who are passionate about this.”

Commissioner Jason Corley, who voted for the travel ban, said the ordinance could be amended later as needed.

Mark Lee Dickson, a Longview pastor who has championed anti-abortion ordinances, praised the vote.

“Guys, I long for the day (when), coast to coast, abortion is considered a great moral, social and political wrong and is outlawed in every single state,” Dickson told commissioners.

How the ban would be enforced is a question, according to health law expert Seema Mohapatra, a law professor at Southern Methodist University.

“We haven’t had this kind of issue tested, so it’s really kind of a case of first impression,” Mohapatra said.

The Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the ban or its implementation.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas criticized the county ordinance in a statement.

“Texans already live under some of the most restrictive and dangerous abortion bans in the country, yet anti-abortion extremists continue to push additional unnecessary, confusing and fear-inducing barriers to essential healthcare,” said spokesperson Autumn Keiser.

Lubbock County has about 317,000 residents and far outnumbers the population of the three other Texas counties — Mitchell, Goliad and Cochran — that have approved the ordinance in recent months, with each county’s population counting fewer than 10,000 residents.

Lea and Roosevelt counties in New Mexico have also approved the measure, according to Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn’s website.

The ban does not apply to cities within Lubbock County, including the city of Lubbock, which has about 264,000 of the county’s residents. Lubbock voters in 2021 adopted a similar measure.

More than 60 other cities have also approved similar measures, according to Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn.

A 2022 state law severely restricting abortions by potentially fining and imprisoning doctors who perform the procedure was blocked in August by a judge who found that portions of the law violated the rights afforded to pregnant people under the Texas Constitution.

The judge’s injunction was immediately blocked by an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court by the state attorney general’s office.

The Texas law was passed prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling that overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortions nationwide.

United States News

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Unfair labor complaint filed against Notre Dame over athletes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An unfair labor complaint was filed Thursday against the University of Notre Dame for classifying college athletes as “student-athletes.” The complaint was filed with the National Labor Relations Board by a California-based group calling itself the College Basketball Players Association. It said Notre Dame is engaging in unfair labor practices […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

US deports about 50 Haitians to nation hit with gang violence, ending monthslong pause in flights

MIAMI (AP) — The Biden administration sent about 50 Haitians back to their country on Thursday, authorities said, marking the first deportation flight in several months to the Caribbean nation struggling with surging gang violence. The Homeland Security Department said in a statement that it “will continue to enforce U.S. laws and policy throughout the […]

5 hours ago

Donald Trump's hush money trial: 12 jurors selected...

Associated Press

Although 12 jurors were picked for Donald Trump’s hush money trial, selection of alternates is ongoing

A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial. The proceedings are close to opening statements.

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Legislation allowing doctor-assisted suicide narrowly clears Delaware House, heads to state Senate

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware narrowly cleared the Democrat-led House on Thursday and now goes to the state Senate for consideration. The bill is the latest iteration of legislation that has been repeatedly introduced by Newark Democrat Paul Baumbach since 2015, and it is the only proposal to make […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

California governor pledges state oversight for cities, counties lagging on solving homelessness

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nearly $200 million in grant money will go to California cities and counties to move homeless people from encampments into housing, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday while also pledging increased oversight of efforts by local governments to reduce homelessness. The Democratic governor said he will move 22 state personnel from a […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

West Texas county bans travel on its roads to help someone seeking an abortion