• September 3, 2021

Texas Abortion Ban Sadistic, Psychopathic, Dumb as Hell

Welcome to Gilead.

Two days ago, because this is the bad place, a Texas law went into effect that bans basically all abortions and supersedes abortion bounty hunters.

I am not exaggerating when I say that SB 8 is the craziest, most psychopathic and sexist law I have ever seen go into effect. And I used to work at the ACLU of West Virginia, I’ve seen a lot of shit!

All abortions after six weeks, or two weeks after the first missed period, if your period is completely regular, are now illegal in Texas. And, in case destroying people’s lives wasn’t enough, anyone can sue anyone who possibly has thought about helping someone get an abortion. (Really, you can be sued for pretending to incite an abortion that is not performed.) And, as SER and Robyn already told you, this week, the Supreme Court essentially struck down Roe vs. Wade in secret. First, by not acting. Then acting in the worst possible way.

I’m not sure if “misogyfascist” is a real term, but I have decided to roll with him.

Everything is wrong.

Now let’s take a look at what this draconian abortion bill actually does!

The first parts of SB 8 delve into the whole “heartbeat” theme. But, for the purposes of this post, here is the most relevant section:


(a) Any person, other than an officer or employee of a state or local governmental entity in this state, may bring a civil action against any person who:

(1) performs or induces an abortion in violation of this subchapter;

(2) knowingly engages in conduct that aids or incites the performance or induction of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induces in violation of this subchapter, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of this subchapter; or

(3) intends to engage in conduct described by Subdivision (1) or (2).

Let’s be clear: there is no part of this law that is not sadistic, psychopathic and dumb as hell. And absolutely none of that would be acceptable under any circumstances. But what it actually does is a lot worse than it sounds, if you read most of the press coverage of SB 8.

Take a look at (3) right there. Not only is it really illegal to have an abortion or to help someone have an abortion; It is also illegal to even consider having an abortion or to help someone else get it.

So this law doesn’t just allow any random piece of shit to sue anyone with a uterus accusing them of having an “illegal” abortion. And not only does it allow those psychopaths to accuse any doctor of performing an “illegal” abortion. It also allows them to literally sue anyone who they think might have ever considered having an abortion, or might have considered helping someone have an abortion.

So under what is now CURRENT AND EXISTING TEXAS LAW, abortion bounty hunting can be brought in by, for example:

  • Abusive men who claim their partner / ex wanted an abortion, even if they didn’t.
  • Rapists who are eager to come together to sue each other’s victims and share the rewards.
  • Any random fucking sadist with nothing better to do.

And against:

  • Abortion funds, their employees and the people who donate to them.
  • A mother helping her adolescent get a legal abortion in another state.
  • Uber / Lyft drivers who may have transported pregnant people.
  • All OB / GYNs.
  • People who really care about women and pregnant people.
  • Literally anyone with a uterus.

It’s also fucking absurd.

In addition to all the terrible things this law allows for, it is also so poorly written that it gives us some amazing possibilities, which certainly must have been unintended consequences.

With that part of section 3, which allows people to address anyone who “intends to participate” in “aiding or abetting” an abortion, I can make a good faith legal argument that any man who has thought even in heterosexual sex, much less heterosexual sex, or even – gasp! – unprotected heterosexual sex, has had the intention of participating in the complicity of abortion.

Some of the anticipated consequences are also important. The abortion bounty hunter can sue whoever he wants, in any (very large) county in the state, and the defendant can’t move him to a closer location. And even defendants who win because they had absolutely nothing to do with “aiding and abetting” an abortion cannot recover their costs and attorneys’ fees.

So one may wonder, what is stopping people from clogging the Texas court system with cases alleging that all the legislators who voted for this abomination have intended to aid and incite an abortion? In the county farthest from where they live? And force them to pay lawyers to defend the case?

Nothing really.

Can we do something about it?

Yes! The real question is whether the Democrats really Will Do nothing.

The point is, there are actually a lot of things that Democrats could do. But the problem is that most of these possible solutions require thinking outside the box. And if there’s one thing the powers of the Democratic Party love, it’s archaic rules.

Decades ago, Republicans and Democrats were in a basement, sitting at a table, playing chess. Then Republicans doused the basement with gasoline and set it on fire. But the Democrats are still sitting around the table, yelling about the rules of chess.

As Elie Mystal writes in The nation“The only question is how far Democrats are willing to go to defend women’s rights.” And frankly, you can sing all the platitudes you want; I’ll believe it when I see it

There have been many excellent press releases on the protection of abortion rights this week. And this is good. I appreciate the words of support, I do. But, unless you’re on the front lines doing absolutely everything you can to stop this, you can shove your press releases up your ass.

Want some free ideas, Democratic leadership? Here you have!

  • Approve the Law for the Protection of Women’s Health, codifying Roe, damn yesterday.
  • Expand the damn Court and our circuit courts before our democracy collapses as we all sit here watching.
  • As Mystal suggests, use the doctrine of qualified immunity forever, for once. Make abortion providers federal officials, like vaccine distribution, but for abortion. They will have qualified immunity for all their official actions.
  • Make the states of DC and Puerto Rico. (Assuming PR wants to be a state, of course. I certainly wouldn’t blame Puerto Ricans for giving it a difficult pass).

For her part, Nancy Pelosi Announced yesterday that she would put the Women’s Health Protection Act to a vote when Congress returns. Impressive! But Congress is still relaxed until the end of the month. Shame on my fucking Congress for going on a two-month vacation without lifting a finger to stop this charade, when we all knew it was coming.

Yesterday, Biden also released a large statement. Noting that the Supreme Court had “unleashed[ed] unconstitutional chaos and empowerment[ed] self-anointed executors to have a devastating impact “on people’s lives, Biden ordered the White House Office of the General Counsel and the Gender Policy Council” to launch a government-wide effort “to respond to this. It asked the offices to “look specifically to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to see what steps the Federal Government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions protected by Roeand what legal tools we have to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas’ bizarre law enforcement scheme outsourced to private parties. “

Well. Excellent! But again, I think there will be real action as soon as it happens.

What is happening in Texas right now is already destroying lives, we have known since May that this was going to happen, and my federal government did absolutely nothing to stop it.

I have nothing good to say about this.

Unless we’re counting things like “Maybe SCOTUS will wait a few years before becoming a full fetal person and banning all abortions nationwide?” and “The rich can always abort” as “good” now, I have nothing.

The onion remains depressingly prescient, with a new post titled “New Texas Law Allows Private Citizens to Hold Pregnant Women Hostage Until Birth.” And don’t kid yourself: that shit will come later.

While our political and judicial systems continue to fail, there are some amazing people in Texas fighting the good fight on the ground. Organizations such as RAICES, Texas Equal Access Fund, Frontera Fund, Jane’s Due Process, and Texas Choice Fund continue to operate, and in some cases clearly state that laws like this are “destined to be broken.”

Now is a great time to donate or volunteer with an organization that helps people in Texas access the abortion care they need.

I have donated to some Texas organizations and abortion funds this week. Some people have asked me if I am afraid of being sued. And you know what I have to say to that?

Bring. That. Upon.

Follow, continue Jamie On Twitter, he has much more to say about abortion rights and misogynistic fascists.

[ Yr Wonkette / Yr Wonkette again / SCOTUS / White House ]

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