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Texas Effectively Bans Abortions

 
 
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2021 06:28 am
https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1033171800/texas-abortion-ban-supreme-court-

Quote:
Legislation banning abortions after about six weeks is now the law of the land in Texas, effectively ending Roe v. Wade protections in the state.

In a move that surprised some high court watchers, the U.S. Supreme Court didn't act on an emergency request to stop the law from taking effect by midnight Tuesday. This allowed the policy to go ahead despite court challenges.

The Texas law, passed in May, bans all abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy — well before many women even know they are pregnant. The policy conflicts with the Supreme Court's precedents, which prohibit states from banning abortion prior to fetal viability, usually between 22 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.


In a clever take that moves law enforcement out of criminal courts, this law allows private citizens to sue each other if someone is suspected of helping a woman obtain, "including those who give a woman a ride to a clinic or provide financial assistance in obtaining an abortion. Private citizens who bring these suits don't need to show any connection to those they are suing. If they prevail, the law entitles them to a minimum of $10,000 in damages plus attorney fees." This means you can use frivolous suits to harass anyone who supports abortion rights and even if you lose, they are out the legal expenses.
 
edgarblythe
 
  0  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2021 06:51 am
They are doing this for the base, hoping the SCOTUS doesn't allow it because that would take away one of their hot button issues.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2021 07:15 am
@engineer,
It seems there is an easy way to subvert this law.

Pro-choice people should flood the courts with these lawsuits.

hightor
 
  0  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2021 07:52 am
@engineer,
What great news! From now on fertile women will no longer play Russian Roulette when engaging in unprotected coitus and every new little Texan will be a wanted little Texan!
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2021 02:23 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

It seems there is an easy way to subvert this law.

Pro-choice people should flood the courts with these lawsuits.




When do you think this will happen? How many times do women have to beg others for their freedom to make health care decisions?

I think that people who find abortion unacceptable, they just shouldn't submit to abortion. No one wants to have an abortion, no one thinks abortion is a great idea, but I don't know what kind of situation some women find themselves in. Leave these women and girls alone.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  0  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2021 03:03 am
HCR wrote:
Last night at midnight, a new law went into effect in Texas. House Bill 1927 permits people to carry handguns without a permit, unless they have been convicted of a felony or domestic violence. This measure was not popular in the state. Fifty-nine percent of Texans—including law enforcement officers—opposed it. But 56% of Republicans supported it. “I don’t know what it’s a solution to,” James McLaughlin, executive director of the Texas Police Chiefs Association, said to Heidi Pérez-Moreno of the Texas Tribune when Republican governor Greg Abbott signed the bill in mid-August. “I don’t know what the problem was to start with.”

Texas Gun Rights executive director Chris McNutt had a different view. He said in a statement: “Texas is finally a pro-gun state despite years of foot-dragging, roadblocks, and excuses from the spineless political class.”

The bill had failed in 2019 after McNutt showed up at the home of the Texas House Speaker, Republican Dennis Bonnen, to demand its passage. Bonnen said McNutt’s “overzealous” visit exhibited “insanity.” "Threats and intimidation will never advance your issue. Their issue is dead," he told McNutt. McNutt told the Dallas Morning News: "If politicians like Speaker Dennis Bonnen think they can show up at the doorsteps of Second Amendment supporters and make promises to earn votes in the election season, they shouldn't be surprised when we show up in their neighborhoods to insist they simply keep their promises in the legislative session.”
That was not the only bill that went into effect at midnight last night in Texas. In May, Governor Abbott signed the strongest anti-abortion law in the country, Senate Bill 8, which went into effect on September 1. It bans abortion after 6 weeks—when many women don’t even know they’re pregnant—thus automatically stopping about 85% of abortions in Texas. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. Opponents of the bill had asked the Supreme Court to stop the law from taking effect. It declined to do so.

The law avoided the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision protecting the right to abortion before fetal viability at about 22 to 24 weeks by leaving the enforcement of the law not up to the state, but rather up to private citizens. This was deliberate. As Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern explained in an article in Slate: “Typically, when a state restricts abortion, providers file a lawsuit in federal court against the state officials responsible for enforcing the new law. Here, however, there are no such officials: The law is enforced by individual anti-abortion activists.” With this law, there’s no one to stop from enforcing it.

S.B. 8 puts ordinary people in charge of law enforcement. Anyone—at all—can sue any individual who “aids or abets,” or even intends to abet, an abortion in Texas after six weeks. Women seeking abortion themselves are exempt, but anyone who advises them (including a spouse), gives them a ride, provides counseling, staffs a clinic, and so on, can be sued by any random stranger. If the plaintiff wins, they pocket $10,000 plus court costs, and the clinic that provided the procedure is closed down. If the defendant doesn’t defend themselves, the court must find them guilty. And if the defendant wins, they get…nothing. Not even attorney’s fees.

So, nuisance lawsuits will ruin abortion providers, along with anyone accused of aiding and abetting—or intending to abet—an abortion. And the enforcers will be ordinary citizens.

Texas has also just passed new voting restrictions that allow partisan poll watchers to have “free movement” in polling places, enabling them to intimidate voters. Texas governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign that bill in the next few days.

Taken together with the vigilantism running wild in school board meetings and attacks on election officials, the Texas legislation is a top red flag in the red flag factory. The Republican Party is empowering vigilantes to enforce their beliefs against their neighbors.

The law, which should keep us all on a level playing field, has been abandoned by our Supreme Court. Last night, it refused to stop the new Texas abortion law from going into effect, and tonight, just before midnight, by a 5–4 vote, it issued an opinion refusing to block the law. Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent read: “The court’s order is stunning. Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”

Texas’s law flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents, she points out, but the Supreme Court has looked the other way. ”The State’s gambit worked,” Sotomayor wrote. She continued: “This is untenable. It cannot be the case that a state can evade federal judicial scrutiny by outsourcing the enforcement of unconstitutional laws to its citizenry."

The Supreme Court has essentially blessed the efforts of Texas legislators to prevent the enforcement of federal law by using citizen vigilantes to get their way. The court decided the case on its increasingly active “shadow docket,” a series of cases decided without full briefings or oral argument, often in the dead of night, without signed opinions. In the past, such emergency decisions were rare and used to issue uncontroversial decisions or address irreparable immediate harm (like the death penalty). Since the beginning of the Trump administration, they have come to make up the majority of the court’s business.

Since 2017, the court has used the shadow docket to advance right-wing goals. It has handed down brief, unsigned decisions after a party asks for emergency relief from a lower court order, siding first with Trump, and now with state Republicans, at a high rate. As University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck noted: “In less than three years, [Trump’s] Solicitor General has filed at least twenty-one applications for stays in the Supreme Court (including ten during the October 2018 Term alone).” In comparison, “during the sixteen years of the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations, the Solicitor General filed a total of eight such applications—averaging one every other Term.”

So, operating without open arguments or opinions, the Supreme Court has shown that it will not enforce federal law, leaving state legislatures to do as they will. This, after all, was the whole point of the “originalism” that Republicans embraced under President Ronald Reagan. Originalists wanted to erase the legal justification of the post–World War II years that used the “due process” and “equal protection” clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to apply the protections of the Bill of Rights to the states. It was that concept that protected civil rights for people of color and for women, by using the federal government to prohibit states from enforcing discriminatory laws.

Since the 1980s, Republicans have sought to hamstring federal power and return power to the states, which have neither the power nor the inclination to regulate businesses effectively, and which can discriminate against minorities and get away with it, so long as the federal government doesn’t enforce equal protection.

Today’s events make that a reality.

Worse, though, the mechanisms of the Texas law officially turn a discriminatory law over to state-level vigilantes to enforce. The wedge to establish this mechanism is abortion, but the door is now open for extremist state legislatures to turn to private citizens to enforce any law that takes away an individual’s legal right…like, say, the right to vote. And in Texas, now, a vigilante doesn't even have to have a permit to carry the gun that will back up his threats.

During Reconstruction, vigilantes also carried guns. They enforced state customs that reestablished white supremacy after the federal government had tried to defend equality before the law. It took only a decade for former Confederates who had tried to destroy the government to strip voting rights, and civil rights, from the southern Black men who had defended the United States government during the Civil War. For the next eighty years, the South was a one-party state where enforcement of the laws depended on your skin color, your gender, and whom you knew.

Opponents have compared those who backed the Texas anti-abortion law to the Taliban, the Islamic extremists in Afghanistan whose harsh interpretation of Islamic Sharia law strips women of virtually all rights. But the impulse behind the Texas law, the drive to replace the federal protection of civil rights with state vigilantes enforcing their will, is homegrown. It is a reflection of the position that Republicans would like women to have in our society, for sure, but it is also written in the laughing faces of Mississippi law enforcement officers Lawrence Rainey and Cecil Ray Price in 1967, certain even as they were arraigned for the 1964 murders of James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Henry Schwerner, that the system was so rigged in their favor that they would literally get away with murder.

When they were killed, Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were trying to register Black people to vote.

substack
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2021 07:40 am
@engineer,
The Supreme Court speaks ... and abortion is banned in Texas and soon through much of the US. The law has no exclusions including rape and incest and prohibits abortion after 6 wks which is before many women know they are pregnant.

Quote:
The Supreme Court formally denied a request from Texas abortion providers to freeze a state law that bars abortions after six weeks. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three liberal justices in dissent.

The court's move means that the law -- which is one of the strictest in the nation and bans abortion before many people know they are pregnant -- will remain on the books.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2021 07:46 am
I really was naive enough to believe it could not stand.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  0  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2021 08:09 am

will the proponents of this law be good christians and take in the many unwanted babies that will soon overburden texas adoption centers?
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2021 09:02 am
@Region Philbis,
That likely won't happen. Most unwanted births stay with the birth mother and end up in poverty. Texas is not very generous with its welfare system either.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2021 09:45 am
Of course rich Texans will still be able to secure abortions for daughters, escorts, or girlfriends. They won't have any problem securing an absentee ballot either.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2021 05:12 pm
Civil liberties violations suck don't they?

Now maybe you guys can understand why I protest so strenuously when you violate people's civil liberties for fun.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2021 07:07 pm
@engineer,
Isnt it amazing that with the govt of Texass being so gainst vaccination nd masking to protect its citizens, has the cojones to call itself "pro life"?


This entire process of legislating from th bench full of RW dooche bags has taken us back to 1851 with the latest fugitive Slave Act (where you, if you knew of an escaped slave HAD TO turn him or hr in and you would be givvn a bounty. The USSC hs create the largst batch of asshole vigilantes since the kkk.

Even the GOP has spoken out against thi shithead ruling
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2021 07:12 pm
@hightor,
Oralloy is gonna hve a hemorage since anyone can have standing to "turn in" the suspct who aids and abbets a woman's right to an abortion. since USSC hasnt thought it out too well, they will also bw dragging othr "rights under Amendments " including the wntire breadth of the 2nd amendment
oralloy
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2021 08:35 pm
@farmerman,
Hopefully the NRA will take a stand against such laws. They are our foremost defender of civil liberties.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  0  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2021 09:42 pm
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/_m-_SQNCpJ2414APxtajkfXP3BAgEljPFj32ih5zGfgGJNLd9yH2SjCRAxDDLk0JpTWVfTl15lA9f6o21jzHVCk61AY0JHA=s0-d
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2021 06:55 am

https://iili.io/Rw63la.jpg
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2021 08:03 am
People are vowing to spam the hotline to report abortions hundreds of times per day. I don't have the phone number, but any interested will know what to do.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2021 09:09 am
The Chinese have moved in. Since China has stopped the mining of bitcoins because of the environmental impact Chinese businesses have moved to Texas which has little in the way of environmental protection.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2021 10:04 am
The Texas legislature can't conduct business without enough members present to form a quorum. The Democrats made a show of flying to Washington to kill the voting law. Then they came back and the law passed anyway. They had the option to stay gone and kill the abortion law as well as the upcoming redistricting law. Ain't gonna happen with any of it.
 

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