Wanted!

This past week Texas Governor, Gregg Abbot, made Texas the first modern vigilante state, when he signed a bill banning abortion after 6 weeks. Since many women don’t realize they are pregnant at this point, he in essence, made abortion illegal in Texas. 

The law is a flagrant violation of Roe v. Wade. But, in a sleight of hand maneuver for the ages, the law deputizes private citizens to enforce the ban rather than rely on executive authority — a deliberate choice meant to prevent federal courts from blocking the law.

Pure evil Republican genius. 

So what does this mean? Under the law, Texans can sue anyone who assists someone seeking an abortion, from the doctor who performed the procedure, to the Uber driver who delivered the patient to the clinic, to the family member who gave her the cash to go. (Does it also include the bank who gave that family member the money, too? How about the U.S. Department of Treasury for printing the money?)

So what kind of dough are we talking about? How does a $10,000 bounty for the person who reports an abortion sound? To add insult to injury, if the plaintiff wins the case, the defendant has to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees as well!

I imagine that as soon as the law passed, lawyers all over the country, looking to increase business, are working on ads for late night TV. “If you want to nail those baby killers, we are the firm for you.” 

Private investigation firms will be sprouting everywhere to follow women of suspicion. “Notice a female you know getting a little round in the middle? We will follow them until they leave the hospital with their baby.”

This is Handmaid’s Tale stuff. Imagine all over Texas photos of women known to have abortions pasted to lamp posts like the F.B.I’s most wanted or back in the Wild Wild West, a poster of the outlaw Jesse James, “$10,000 Reward Dead or Alive. 

Yes, you heard right. And anyone across this great land of ours can sue. For instance, let’s say one sister, who lives in Ohio, and is anti-abortion, discovers that her sister in Texas had an abortion.  Sorry sis, but God calls. Sorry the Uber Driver had to pay the price for your transgression. And if God hadn’t called, I would have sued anyway as I needed the money to upgrade my kitchen. I always wanted a Sub-Zero refrigerator. You understand, right sis? You’ll never talk to me again? Oh, well. You were always the family outcast with your liberal views. And your fears that mom doesn’t love you, that I always reassured you were not true, well, I was just trying to make you feel better. The day you stopped going to church mom told me that she could barely look at you. Sub Zero here I come. Maybe I’ll buy one for mom, too; though I might have to find someone else to sue to get a second one.

And what did the Supreme Court do when given the opportunity to  weigh in? Absolutely nothing. They declined to act against the ban, citing the “complex and novel antecedent procedural questions” of the case. Sometimes silence speaks a thousand words.

Another way to put this is that the court has essentially nullified the constitutional rights of millions of American women without so much as an argument. It has shaken the constitutional landscape — refusing to apply the law as it was decided in previous cases — while shielding itself from the scrutiny that might come under normal circumstances. Very shady.

Let’s return to the Supreme Court’s comment that the case raised “complex and novel antecedent questions.” Umm, so are they saying that you only want simple questions and only questions that were asked before? And anyway, what’s so complicated about deciding to prevent private citizens from perpetrating vigilante justice? What kind of dangerous precedent are you creating? Remember slave bounty hunters? How about we have a law that has a certain 4 white guys and one black guy who wear funny robes, who work in a certain building in Washington, sued because they are white guys and one black guy wearing silly robes? 

When Texas Governor Abbott was asked about the exception of women who were raped or the victim of incest he stated that he would “eliminate rape.”

Now that’s something all the women in this country can get behind. And Mr. Abbott, we await with great anticipation your plan to make this happen. Will you will just declare it: “From this day forward, I mandate the end of rape”. I’ve got it! Maybe you can mandate all male Texans to become incels.*

But wait, aren’t you against mandates? No masks or vaccine mandates. So how can you mandate the no rape thing? Aren’t you messing with freedom and individual liberty? Isn’t that the Republican credo? I am trying to understand all this, but feel so confused. President Biden issues a more expanded mandate of vaccinations and your Governor friends go crazy. DeSatanist says Biden has ‘declared war” on the rule of law; Governor Ivey stated “This is still America, and we still believe in freedom from tyrants;” Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi called the mandates “terrifying.”

Giving people the right to sue others because of their legal right to abortion is fine, but telling people they need to get a vaccine in order to save lives is tyranny, a war on freedom, terrifying?  

*a member of a community of young men who consider themselves unable to attract women sexually, typically associated with views that are hostile toward women and men who are sexually active.

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