New Abortion Travel Ordinance Sparks Debate and Expansion Efforts

Commissioners in Lubbock County, Texas, have made a significant decision by banning the transportation of individuals seeking abortions along local roads. This vote adds Lubbock County to the growing list of counties joining recent anti-abortion efforts to restrict travel out of state for the procedure. While this move is celebrated by anti-abortion activists, the city council of Amarillo, a neighboring city, has requested more time to deliberate on a similar ordinance, highlighting the divisive nature of this issue.

These ordinances, spearheaded by anti-abortion activist Mark Lee Dickson and lawyer Jonathan Mitchell, are aimed at curbing what they have labeled “abortion trafficking.” The term has gained traction among anti-abortion activists in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In Idaho, a first-of-its-kind law has already been enacted to limit assistance to minors seeking abortions out of state, which the state also defines as “abortion trafficking.”

Dickson was previously involved in campaigning for cities to declare themselves “sanctuary cities for the unborn” before Roe v. Wade was overturned. Meanwhile, Mitchell played a crucial role in the legal framework of the 2021 six-week abortion ban in Texas, which contravened Roe v. Wade.

Unlike traditional enforcement models upheld by the state, these new ordinances rely on a unique legal approach. They empower individuals to file lawsuits against those who aid abortion patients in traveling. It is crucial to note that these ordinances do not penalize pregnant women themselves.

The Lubbock County vote, which occurred near the New Mexico border, was a contentious event. Commissioner Gilbert Flores passionately voiced concerns about civil rights violations and his unwillingness to restrict the rights of his granddaughters. While these conversations may be tense, they contribute to the ongoing dialogue on women’s rights, personal choice, and the complex relationship between individuals and their religious beliefs.

While this decision highlights the divide on abortion issues, it also provides momentum for anti-abortion activists aiming to expand similar ordinances across Texas and potentially nationwide. The debate on abortion continues to spark passionate discussions, with both sides adamant about protecting what they perceive to be fundamental human rights and values.


What is the purpose of the new ordinances in Lubbock County, Texas?

The new ordinances aim to prohibit the transportation of individuals seeking abortions along local roads, restricting travel out of state for the procedure.

Who are the individuals behind these ordinances?

Anti-abortion activist Mark Lee Dickson and lawyer Jonathan Mitchell are leading the efforts to introduce and expand these ordinances in Texas.

How do these ordinances differ from traditional enforcement models?

Unlike traditional enforcement models, these ordinances allow individuals to file lawsuits against those who assist abortion patients in traveling, rather than imposing penalties through the state.

What impact do these ordinances have on pregnant women?

These ordinances do not legally penalize pregnant women. The focus is on those who provide assistance to individuals seeking abortions.