On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion bans. Starting in September, abortions will be outlawed, even in cases of rape or incest, as soon as a fetal heartbeat has been detected. That means that by the time many women find out they are pregnant, it will be too late to have an abortion.
Those “freedom-loving” Republicans also added a provision outsourcing the enforcement to others and making it nearly impossible to stop the law by suing the state. The Texas Tribune explains, “While abortion providers typically sue the state to stop a restrictive abortion law from taking effect, there’s no state official enforcing Senate Bill 8 — so there’s no one to sue, the bill’s proponents say.”
It sounds like an open door for harassment by anti-abortion zealots.
More from The Tribune:
Instead of having the government enforce the law, the bill turns the reins over to private citizens — who are newly empowered to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps someone get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected. The person would not have to be connected to someone who had an abortion or to a provider to sue.
Family members, abortion funds, rape crisis counselors and other medical professionals could be open to lawsuits, under the broad language in the bill, according to legal experts and physicians who opposed the measure. People who sued would be awarded at least $10,000, as well as costs for attorney’s fees, if they won.
“Every citizen is now a private attorney general,” [constitutional law professor Josh] Blackman said. “You can have random people who are against abortion start suing tomorrow.”
When he signed the bill, Abbott sanctimoniously announced, “In Texas, we work to save those lives.” He meant the lives of fetuses. Once you’re born, he and his cronies seem almost eager to see Texans die. This is the same group of Republicans who overrode the wishes of law enforcers and the majority of Texans to remove any restrictions on gun ownership and who have banned face mask requirements in public schools and most government entities – because freedom!