Multi-Party Lawsuit To Stop Texas Abortion Ban Announced

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Gun-toting Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) compared President Joe Biden’s offer to go to people’s door and offer the coronavirus vaccine to “Needle Nazis,” which is ridiculous, The Newsweek reported. Yet, when it comes to the very personal and individual legal right a woman has to decide with her doctor whether to have an abortion, those grey heads in Texas cannot wait to get up close and personal.

Now a parent, abusive spouse, or even a neighbor could turn the woman into the state for trying to get an abortion. Texas Governor Greg Abbott just signed that law into effect.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of several other organizations to protect women. Advocates and providers joined together for their lawsuit file in Austin, Texas Tuesday. It would block the state’s new law giving unrivaled power to a state resident to sue anyone helping a woman attain an abortion, and that includes nosy neighbors. The suit would also safeguard those who provide financial assistance or who give a patient a ride to a clinic, according to The Washington Post.

A dozen states have passed laws banning abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. But the Texas law, set to take effect in September, goes further by incentivizing private citizens to help enforce the ban — awarding them at least $10,000 if their court challenges are successful. Even religious leaders who counsel a pregnant woman considering an abortion could be liable, according to the lawsuit filed in Austin by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of several other groups.

The Texas governor cheered when his “heartbeat bill” was signed. His law goes further than most in shades of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. According to The Washinton Post:

‘[The law is] incentivizing private citizens to help enforce the ban — awarding them at least $10,000 if their court challenges are successful. Even religious leaders who counsel a pregnant woman considering an abortion could be liable, according to the lawsuit filed in Austin by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU on behalf of several other groups.’

Then, Texas will go after the doctor, suing to try to halt the procedure. Republicans intent upon forcing their religious beliefs upon young and no-so-young women are just despicable. The hypocrisy is rank. By signing SB 8 into law, Abbott joined a dozen other states illegally banning abortion after six weeks. Many women do not even realize they are pregnant at that point.

Abortion providers call SB 8 unconstitutional. In addition, they will be buried in lawsuits. That means clinics will reduce their services and quickly shut down.

Ultra-conservative Missouri Republicans squeezed women’s rights so tightly there is just one clinic Planned Parenthood in St. Louis left operating. For victims of rape, this invasive procedure is just another rape and extremely distressing, CBS News reports:

‘[The clinic is] adjusting who at the clinic provided the state-mandated counseling and adding an additional [unnecessary] pelvic exam for abortion patients.’

President of the Center for Reproductive Rights Nancy Northup released this statement:

‘The state has put a bounty on the head of any person or entity who so much as gives a patient money for an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, before most people know they are pregnant. Worse, it will intimidate loved ones from providing support for fear of being sued.’

Texas government data shows:

‘[These laws] disproportionately affect Black and Latinx communities, and low-income women who already encounter barriers to health care. Nationally, three out of four abortion patients are poor or have low incomes and struggle to cover the cost of an abortion, transportation to a clinic or child care.’

Director of Clinical Services for Whole Woman’s Health Marva Sadler has four clinics. She has been facing these repressive actions for over 12 years. She and those who work with her expect to be targeted with a flood of lawsuits:

‘It’s really, really scary for me to imagine the people we pass through to go to work on a daily basis, who yell at us … now have the authority and ability to sue me at will. Not only is it an attack on the access, but it absolutely feels like a personal threat as well.’

Abbott held a closed-door ceremony after he signed the bill into law to celebrate “a victory for Texans:”

‘Our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion. In Texas, we work to save those lives. That’s exactly what the Texas Legislature did this session.’

Senior Counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights Marc Hearron commented about the legislators:

‘[The law] allows any ideologically motivated party out there to bring a case across the state. [And] distract and prevent providers from being able to provide constitutionally protected health care to their patients.’

Over 300 Texas attorneys, former judges, and law professors wrote to state lawmakers raising constitutional issues, as per document cloud. They urged the lawmakers:

‘[Do not] weaponize the judicial system [by exempting Texas laws] the normal guardrails that protect Texans from abusive lawsuits and provide all litigants a fair and efficient process in our state courts.’

Republicans want to take this to the U.S. Supreme Court with its ultra-conservative super majority and six members of the Catholic faith.

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