(September 1, 2021) The state of Texas followed up its state senate’s passage of the extraordinary new measures to limit voting in the state already designated the hardest to vote with a dystopian anti-abortion law that deputizes private individuals to sue anyone who performs the procedure or “aids and abets” it.
The new law, Senate Bill 8 was signed into law in May by Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, when into effect at 12:01 am on September 1.
An emergency application from abortion providers has been made for an injunction.
But lack of action from the Supreme Court of the United States, which contains three hard right conservative and anti-abortion judges appointed by Donald Trump, allowed the law to go into effect at 12:01 am on September 1, according to the New York Times, effectively negating the Roe v Wade precedent.
“The patient may not be sued, but doctors, staff members at clinics, counselors, people who help pay for the procedure, even an Uber driver taking a patient to an abortion clinic are all potential defendants. Plaintiffs, who need not have any connection to the matter or show any injury from it, are entitled to $10,000 and their legal fees recovered if they win. Prevailing defendants are not entitled to legal fees,” reports the Times.
It is a tactic designed to avoid state enforcement of abortion rights because states can be sued to ensure they cleave to constitutional rights creates an East German Stasi-like surveillance mechanism. The law makes women’s actions the interest of a perfect stranger armed with the legal right to sue anyone who helps her. The very idea can exact a profound psychological toll on the women of Texas.
Abortion will still be legal in the state of Texas for a woman who is six weeks pregnant or less, when most women don’t realize they are pregnant.
Reporting suggests the Court may still rule on the injunction soon, but the fear created by state governments attempting to pass such laws will continue to linger for woman across the U.S.
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