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Texas city votes to ban abortion, likely prompting legal fight

A city in Texas voted Saturday to ban abortions within city limits and allow residents to sue abortion providers and anyone else who assists a person obtain abortion services.

The Texas Tribune reported that voters in Lubbock, a city of about 250,000 people in northwest Texas, backed the measure 62 percent to 38 percent. It's not clear when the ordinance, which declares Lubbock a "sanctuary city for the unborn," would go into effect but it is almost certain to face legal challenges.

About two dozen cities have passed similar measures, but Lubbock is the biggest thus far and the only one of the cities with an existing abortion provider within its boundaries, according to the Tribune. 

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The move was cheered by conservative opponents of abortion in the state.

“Today is a victory for life and proof that the silent majority will still stand up for its Christian conservative values,” said state Rep. Dustin Burows (R), who represents the city in the state legislature, in a statement to the Tribune.

Planned Parenthood, which has been involved in major legal fights over the issue of abortion and according to the Tribune provides abortion services in Lubbock, vowed in a statement to continue serving patients under state and federal law, under which abortion is recognized as a legal right.

“We want Lubbock residents to know: Our doors are open and we will continue to advocate for our patients, no matter what,” said a spokesperson in a statement to the newspaper.