Planned Parenthood asks judge to reconsider dismissal of case against City of Lubbock

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This Oct. 23, 2020, photo provided by Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas shows the new Planned Parenthood health center in Lubbock, Texas. (Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas via The AP)

LUBBOCK, Texas — Planned Parenthood and other plaintiffs asked a federal judge to reconsider its lawsuit against the City of Lubbock on Tuesday. 

The lawsuit, filed after voters passed an ordinance banning abortion in city limits, was dismissed June 1, the same day the ordinance went into effect.

The dismissal was without prejudice, which allows the suit to be filed again.

The main reason cited in the June 1 dismissal was lack of standing, meaning, in the court’s eyes, Planned Parenthood had not done enough to prove it suffered injuries caused by the city. 

In its motion Tuesday, Planned Parenthood argued that the dismissal allows the city to defy the decisions of the Supreme Court.

“The Court’s ruling on standing in effect permits the City to defy the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States and eliminate the core protection of a constitutional right with impunity,” the motion said.

The motion also argues that if the federal court declares the ordinance unconstitutional, then it could have many impacts.

“It could pressure the City to repeal or amend the Ordinance, deter private actors from filing lawsuits under the Ordinance, or discourage other judges from applying the Ordinance should such lawsuits be filed,” the motion said.

Planned Parenthood also filed an amended complaint removing claims that the ordinance conflicted with Texas state law, leaving only the claim that the ordinance is unconstitutional. 

In the dismissal ruling, the court said even if plaintiffs had standing, the court would abstain from adjudicating the case until any state-law claims were addressed.

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