Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol

Texas Shocked That Folks Are Pursuing the Abortion Bounty Law They Just Enacted

Well, well, well, if it isn't the consequences of my own actions.
This article is over 2 years old and may contain outdated information

Recommended Videos

Texas’s sweeping abortion ban bill, SB 8, is one of the most extreme pieces of anti-choice legislation our country has ever seen. The bill bans abortions after six weeks (long before most women realize they’re pregnant) and deputizes private citizens to enforce the ban. This means that anyone aiding a person seeking an abortion (from a doctor to a friend to a Lyft driver) can be sued by literally anyone, to win a bounty of $10,000.

Giving anyone in America free license to tattle on someone’s abortion with a $10 grand cash payout seems … unwise? Impossible to enforce? An unnecessary drain on an already overloaded court system? Texas anti-abortion non-profit Texas Right to Life set up a snitch website that was quickly flooded with memes and Shrek porn.

Even the first SB 8 lawsuit is a clusterfuck of epic proportions, with outspoken pro-choice advocate Dr. Alan Braid being sued by self-described “disbarred and disgraced former Arkansas lawyer” Oscar Stilley, who is currently serving a 15-year federal sentence for tax fraud in home confinement in Arkansas.

And now, Texas’s anti-abortion leader is claiming that those lawsuits were never meant to be filed, but only to be used for fearmongering and intimidation. And she admitted as much in a damning new article in the New York Times:

“Anti-abortion leaders in Texas said they never expected many people to actually file lawsuits, thinking the process would be too costly and onerous.”

“These out-of-state suits are not what the bill is intended for,” said Chelsey Youman, the Texas state director and national legislative adviser for Human Coalition, an anti-abortion group that said it had no plans to file a lawsuit against the physician, Dr. Alan Braid, or to encourage others to do so.

“The goal is to save as many lives as possible, and the law is working,” Ms. Youman said, adding that the notion behind the law was that the mere threat of liability would be so intimidating that providers would simply comply.”

Really? So you pass a law giving any citizen the right to cosplay as an anti-choice vigilante, and you’re shocked when folks take you up on it? What a disingenuous and craven attempt to cover for your heinous and unconstitutional bill. Frankly, these anti-choice advocates who worked to pass the bill should be liable themselves for the $10,000 instead of taxpayers. That would probably make them change their minds when it’s their own money on the line.

Sadly, the bill’s passage has only emboldened anti-choice lawmakers to script even more oppressive and punitive laws against women seeking abortions. Republican State Rep. Bryan Slaton introduced a bill that would allow the death penalty for women who have abortions. Because the only way to protect life is to … murder women?!

And Florida is gearing up to introduce their own extreme abortion ban modeled after SB 8. It’s truly a frightening time to be a person with a uterus.

(via New York Times, image: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.