Legislative Update US Supreme Court refuses to enjoin Texas Fugitive Uterus Act
Here is the latest legislative update from our Legislative Director, Jim Bonfiglio.
It’s important to inform all about the aptly named by Scott Lemieux at the LGM Blog “Texas Fugitive Uterus Act.” I have provided a link to 3 articles at the LGM blog which provide a little more in depth analysis of what happened. In a nutshell the Texas Legislature passed the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country making it illegal to have an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, around 6 weeks. (There is considerable medical evidence that the 6 week “fetal heartbeat” isn’t even a heartbeat.) The twist is that the law prohibits the state from enforcing the prohibition. The statute empowers any private citizen (not sure whether the anti-abortion groups qualify as a private citizen, but I have read articles indicating that those groups are advertising for people who can act as Plaintiffs in such suits) and who can show harm from a person getting a post 6 week abortion can sue all except the patient for abetting such abortion (doctors, assistants, even people who drive the patient to the abortion provider) and get a $10,000.00 bounty from the person successfully sued, plus attorney fees. There is no reciprocal penalty against Plaintiffs who lose. The Texas District Court enjoined this clearly unconstitutional state and on appeal to the 5th Circuit, the panel refused to uphold the injunction against enforcement. On appeal of the order refusing the injunction, the US Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote refused to enjoin the statute. This statute now provides a statutory template for anti-abortion states to copy and implement. Look out for upcoming Florida state legislative committee meetings to put a similar statute on their agendas. See below links for much better analysis than I can provide.
In a paywall protected story, Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that State Rep. Sabatini said Wednesday he would introduce legislation that would duplicate Texas’ strict new anti-abortion law in Florida. It would ban most abortions. Jim