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.
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.
Don’t want to get sued for $10K by a stranger who lives a state away from you because you helped someone exercise their constitutional rights? Then you oppose Texas’s dangerous abortion law SB8. Join our fight.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) September 22, 2021
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)
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