Texas' Creepy 'Spy On Your Abortion-Having Neighbors' Law About To Go Into Effect
On Wednesday, barring some kind of miracle, Texas will have their abortion ban, enforced by citizens ratting on one another. The state is so desperate to force people to give birth that they created an unconstitutional law that can be enforced not by government but by civil lawsuits filed by their neighbors or by anti-choice organizations alerted to their abortions by their neighbors. The new law will allow anyone to sue anyone who "aids and abets" an abortion that occurs after fetal pole cardiac activity is detectable, including anyone who performs an abortion on a Texas resident or gives a Texas resident money to get an abortion, for at least $10,000. This applies to anyone, in any state who:
(1) performs or induces an abortion in violation of this chapter;
(2) knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induced in violation of this chapter, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of this chapter.
There are no exceptions for rape and incest, either.
So, hypothetically — if you, a non-Texas resident, could give your cousin in Texas a few hundred bucks to get an abortion, Gladys Kravitz can sue you and you have to give her $10,000. Oh! And even if you are found innocent, even if it turns out she didn't even have an abortion, Gladys doesn't have to pay your lawyers fees. So you have to spend all that money defending yourself whether you "aided and abetted" an abortion or not.
This is obviously psychotic, but the notoriously conservative 5th circuit court is not allowing any challenges to go through. They were supposed to have a hearing today, at which over 20 abortion providers were scheduled to testify, but they canceled that on Friday.
Via Texas Tribune:
Late on Saturday, provider groups, including Planned Parenthood Center for Choice and Whole Woman's Health Alliance, filed emergency motions with the 5th Circuit, essentially asking it to send the case back to district court or for the appellate court itself to issue a stay that would temporarily block the law's enforcement.
The 5th Circuit denied the emergency motions Sunday afternoon.
"If this law is not blocked by September 1, abortion access in Texas will come to an abrupt stop," Marc Hearron, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents providers, said in a statement. The state's strategy, he said, has been to "circumvent the court system and the constitution itself," he said, in order to "push abortion out of reach for as many Texans as possible."
So basically the 5th Circuit taking the "If we don't hear it, we don't have to admit it's super illegal" route. Nice.
And just to make your stomach turn a little more ...
Kim Schwartz, director of media and communication for Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion organization, said the group was "really excited" about the increased likelihood that the bill will go into effect Wednesday.
What an absolute piece of shit she is, really. "Really excited" about the idea of encouraging Texans to become abortion bounty hunters.
Texas Right to Life, by the way, recently set up a site and hotline where "anonymous whistleblowers" can report abortions they know about.
Hey Twitter!An anti-choice org is seeking anonymous tips for people helping others seek abortion care in Texas. Gos… https://t.co/3YjfoL51D8— Keyboard Warrior from the Darkness (@Keyboard Warrior from the Darkness) 1629502166.0
Naturally, the TikTok teens responded to this by immediately inundating the site with Shrek porn.
#abortionispoggers #prochoice #abortion #abortionisahumanright
Alas, the site now prohibits anyone from outside of Texas from submitting a report, even though people who don't live in Texas will technically be able to sue Texas residents for having abortions.
While the bill technically only bans abortion after a "fetal heartbeat that is not in fact an actual heartbeat because the heart isn't even developed yet" is detected, it will likely have the effect of banning all abortion in the state and shutting down all abortion providers. Fetal pole cardiac activity is detectable five and a half to six weeks into a pregnancy, before many people even know they are pregnant, and thus, about 90 percent of all abortions are performed after that point.
This law, should it be allowed to go into effect, does not exist in a vacuum. If Texas is allowed to pull this crap, other red states will follow suit. And other states could use it to allow other unconstitutional laws to go through. A blue state could introduce a law allowing people to sue their neighbors for owning guns or for not being vaccinated.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse