To Control Women’s Bodies, Texas Empowers Bounty Hunters
We interrupt our regular programming of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan to bring you this bulletin about the Taliban takeover in Texas.
It’s horrific that Texas, assisted by five Republican appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court, has been unleashed to essentially overturn Roe v. Wade, to decree that abortions are illegal after only six weeks of pregnancy. When many women don’t even know they’re pregnant. With no exceptions for rape or incest.
But what’s arguably most chilling – and expect this particular infection to spread to other red states – is the provision that deputizes citizen vigilantes to enforce the ban and turn neighbor against neighbor.
Welcome to the thugocracy.
We’re already seeing it with the anti-mask mobs that are terrorizing school board members, compelling them to quit. We’re already seeing it on the streets with the “stolen election” goons who use their fists to buttress the big lie. And now, we have a “law” that codifies vigilante justice.
Am I exaggerating? Read on:
Any citizen anywhere is now hereby empowered to sue any “abettor” of any abortion that’s performed after six weeks of pregnancy. An “abettor” is defined as anyone who assists in any way – including a husband, boyfriend, mother, father, sister, clergy person, rape crisis counselor, friend who drives a woman to a clinic, friend who provides financial assistance, or certainly anyone at the clinic – doctor, nurse, desk receptionist. Any or all of those people can now be sued in any Texas court, and the bounty hunter will earn $10,000 per abortion.
It’s a veritable Taliban Lottery. Or the Salem Witch Hunt 2.0.
To help make it happen, the group Texas Right to Life is creating a “whistleblower” website where tipsters can inform on neighbors and other conspirators whom they suspect might be engaged in the criminal act of protecting female bodily autonomy.
You might be thinking, “Come on, this must be unconstitutional. The law of the land, as established by the Supreme Court in Roe and other cases, says that states can’t summarily ban abortions that are performed during the first 22-24 weeks of pregnancy.” But ah, you’re overlooking the Texas Republicans’ dark genius. They came up with some very clever wording. State officials are not responsible for enforcing this abortion ban (roughly 85 percent of Texas women who seek abortions are pregnant for more than six weeks), so they can’t be enjoined from enforcing it. Instead, the prospective bounty hunters are responsible for enforcement – but none of them have sued anyone yet. Therefore, the Texas ban can’t be challenged in court until an actual “abettor” is named, an “abettor” who’s willing to challenge it.