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Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.83 minutes to read.

“SB8 is much more diabolical than the average six-week abortion ban. The law would allow just about anyone — truly, almost any person, anywhere — to sue people or entities who “abet” or even allegedly intend to “abet” abortions in Texas after six weeks of pregnancy. What does it mean to “abet” an abortion? The law isn’t entirely clear on that. But it’s easy to think of ways it could be interpreted: a friend gives a woman money for a procedure, a taxi driver drops someone off at an abortion clinic, a receptionist is stationed inside the front door. Plaintiffs who win their cases would get at least $10,000 each — a provision that seems destined to create a state full of abortion bounty hunters…

As for the people of Texas, many of them will get abortions despite SB8, either by crossing borders or by purchasing abortion pills on the internet. This is a certainty. Abortion foes have long claimed that their aim isn’t to punish individual women, who they say are merely victims of dastardly abortion providers. But it is clear what happens in countries where abortions are outlawed: Women end up in jail.”

Lauren Kelley, New York Times

“Women in Texas are facing a sickening new reality.

A bill signed into law in May that went into effect Wednesday offers a $10,000 or more bounty for suing a doctor or anyone who helps to perform or procure an abortion at six weeks gestation or later.

Drive your daughter to an abortion, get sued. Pay for your wife to get an abortion, get sued. Work for an abortion doctor, get sued.

And you won’t be taken to court by a county prosecutor or another government official. Anyone can sue you; a nosy neighbor, an ex-spouse or a stranger with a political agenda.

If you are sued maliciously, don’t expect any relief. Say someone takes you to court because they merely saw you parked near an abortion clinic and you end up paying thousands in legal fees to defend yourself; the law says judges can’t award attorney fees to punish frivolous cases.

In fact, the law says someone sued for “aiding and abetting” an abortion could have to pay their persecutors’ court costs…

You don’t have to believe in abortion on demand or revere Roe v. Wade as a landmark victory for women’s rights to understand that the Texas law is simply un-American.

This totalitarian system was put in place because abortion opponents thought they had come up with a clever way to prevent courts from stopping the law before it went into effect. By making everyone the prosecutor for the law, the Texas Legislature made it hard to figure out who abortion rights advocates could take to court to stop enforcement. ..

We hope the court will sustain the decades-old precedent, but this Texas case isn’t about abortion, it is about the kind of country Americans want to live in.”

Editorial Board, USA Today

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.81 minutes to read.

“Mississippi has taken center stage in a growing nationwide push to protect the unborn. Since Mississippi enacted its law in 2018, states have passed a wave of pro-life bills. Indiana has barred second-trimester abortions and strengthened ultrasound requirements. Missouri has outlawed abortion after eight weeks. Texas has adopted a “heartbeat” bill protecting the fetus as early as six weeks. And states are linking arms to defend these laws in court.

Steady trends in public opinion [show] healthy support for life. Since 1995, the share of Americans identifying as “pro-life” has surged from 33 to 47 percent. More tellingly, 65 percent of Americans support banning most abortions in the second trimester — something Supreme Court precedent does not allow — and 80 percent oppose late-term abortions. If the authors of Roe thought public opinion would conform to their ruling, they were spectacularly wrong.

Science has been pivotal in shifting many hearts and minds on abortion. Written in 1973, Roe could not comprehend that expectant parents would one day use sonograms to look at their unborn children’s hands and feet and see themselves in the faces of their offspring. We now know that the fetal heartbeat begins as early as six weeks and that an unborn child can feel pain at 20 weeks, if not earlier. These realities weigh heavily on the hearts of millions of Americans, and they are driving pro-life change in state after state…

This challenge to Roe is long overdue. After half a century of overreach, it is time for the Court to admit that it has been wrong to overrule the states on abortion.”

Roger Wicker, Republican U.S. senator from Mississippi (published in National Review)

“While abortion proponents will no doubt find ways challenge the law, its careful construction makes the path to a viable legal protest obscure and more complex.

And it sounds tailor-made for a state that prides itself on championing the role of the individual and limiting government authority.

Detractors have argued that relying on citizen enforcement pits Texans against one another, that it will encourage people to “turn each other in.”

The criticism ignores that the law, Senate Bill 8, intentionally shields women seeking abortions (who are often themselves victims) from any legal repercussions, and only allows for civil action (in the form of statutory damages) to be brought against abortion providers or those who assist in the inducement of an abortion.

It also misunderstands the spirit of the law, which is to increase public awareness of the frequency and horror of abortion and to bring Texans into the effort to end it….

Much of the focus of the pro-life movement will be on the announcement this month that the Supreme Court will take a Mississippi case and review the constitutionality of pre-viability abortion bans. But states like Texas take nothing for granted.

Because no matter what decision the court unveils next year, it is the work of pro-life advocates that will ultimately shift public opinion on abortion.”

Cynthia M. Allen, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ($)