Texas Abortion Law

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by Mr. Deez, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    So I'm a little surprised nobody has made an issue (good or bad) of the new Texas abortion law. Before commenting, I decided to do something most commentators will never do. I read the bill. As a staunch pro-lifer, I have no problem with the underlying intent of the bill. I favor banning abortion unless it's necessary to save the life of the mother. I make no bones about that. In principle, I don't have a problem with the law being enforced by private action. We do that with some laws (like Medicaid fraud), but in practice, it's a mess with abortion. (Full disclosure - I've known the lead author, Senator Bryan Hughes for almost 20 years. He is a very decent man of strong character and good intentions.)

    But I do see some significant problems with the law that give me pause. First, the right to bring the civil action is almost completely unlimited. Only public officials and employees are excluded. Anybody else can bring suit - even if from out of state and even if that person has no interest in the abortion at all. As straight-up busybody can sue. Second, the class of potential defendants is very large, though it interestingly excludes the woman getting the abortion. It's not just the doctor. It's anyone who assists in the process - someone who gives a ride, reimburses costs (including insurers), etc.

    The wording is also pretty astounding. Liability can be imposed on anyone who "knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induced 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."

    Carefully consider the wording. You don't have to know the abortion violates the law to be liable. There's also a gray area about what must be known. Obviously you have to know that you're engaging in the conduct, but do you have to know that it's aiding or abetting an abortion? What if you're an uber driver or cab driver who takes a woman to a doctor's office and an illegal abortion is done there? There's no question that if you know she's going there for an abortion, you're on the hook (even if you didn't know it was an illegal abortion). However, what if you don't know what she's doing at the doctor's office? You still knowingly gave her a ride. Honestly, it's a gray area as to whether or not you're liable, and that's kinda scary.

    Third, you do have some defenses if you're sued dealing with what you may or may not have known, but two points about those defenses. First, you have the burden of proof. They are affirmative defenses, not elements of the plaintiff's case. Second, they require that you "perform a reasonable investigation." That's an easy call for the doctor but not a particularly easy or reasonable one for the other countless potential defendants. Is the cab driver really required to ask every woman he picks up if she's going to have an abortion?

    Third, the statute of limitations is pretty long - 4 years.

    Fourth, attorney's fees and court costs cannot be imposed against the plaintiff under the Civil Practices and Remedies Code or the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. What does that mean? It means that the normal penalties that apply to losing plaintiffs (even for filing frivolous pleadings and bad faith pleadings) do not apply here. Anybody can sue anybody in this regardless of merit, and other than their filing fees, there's no downside.

    Fifth, the normal venue rules are completely rewritten. This law allows the plaintiff to bring suit in the plaintiff's venue even if other options (such as where the defendant is located or where the abortion occurred) are available. (The normal venue rule is far more restrictive.) That means that someone from Deaf Smith County (which I presume to be very conservative and pro-life) can sue a bunch of Austin defendants and haul them into a Deaf Smith County court, and venue can't be transferred without the consent of all parties regardless of hardship of the parties, regardless of whether a fair trial can be had, etc. It's a pretty harsh venue rule.

    Again, I'm very pro-life, and I like what the law is trying to do, but damn, it's harsh and leaves very significant room for injustice. People who had no role serious role in an abortion could get completely jacked.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  2. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

    I'm not pro life but I'm also not strongly pro choice. I think the 6 week thing is pretty weak. Most people don't know that they're preggers within 6 weeks.

    The end run that this thing does on Row is confusing to me, a non lawyer. I've heard lawyers opine about how this is nutso. I guess my question is this: are we so pro-life that we don't want to do it the right way?

    I challenge all of you pro-life folks to get on line and pick up a foster kid. If and until you've done that, to quote the great ii's then "stfu." I've got a kid turning 6 years old under my roof tomorrow. No relation whatsoever. You know what I'm gonna do? Make a difference in his life as much as they'll let me. Here's your chance to save an Okie: Waiting Child. Then you can ethically step up and talk about pro-life without being a hypocrite.

    On a side note: How many liberals on the west coast are drafting up their own legislation to write up a mirrored law against hand gun ownership. :popcorn:
     
  3. bystander

    bystander 5,000+ Posts

    It means Conservatives preaching tort reform due to frivolous lawsuits are liars.
     
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  4. iatrogenic

    iatrogenic 2,500+ Posts

    This is an odd statement from someone in the medical arena, even if you are in deep left field.
    If you really want to make a difference in a kids life, don't kill them before it even starts. You can "step up" and support that idea, right? Here's your chance to save many Okies (damn, now I'm rethinking my position, but just for Oklahoma).
     
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  5. bystander

    bystander 5,000+ Posts

    I'm not pro-life. But I can't stand the sanctimony we get from feminists about it all. I also wanted to vomit over Hillary's legalistic, smirking comment about a baby in the 3rd trimester not having any rights.

    I can't look you in the eye and tell you that I wouldn't get an abortion for my soon to be 18 year old daughter if she made that mistake. That's my reality on this.
     
  6. n64ra

    n64ra 1,000+ Posts

  7. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    Deez
    Thanks for the good analysis. I agree there are some harsh things in there.
     
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  8. BrntOrngStmpeDe

    BrntOrngStmpeDe 1,000+ Posts

    There is no doubt that an unplanned pregnancy and the resulting child can be tremendous burdens and there is ample evidence that putting the Child and the woman into the position of Young-Single-Mother and Unplanned/Unwanted child have largely been a recipe for disaster. Unless you come from a supportive family or you are otherwise financially well-off, it will most likely end up with :
    1) lower/worse health outcomes throughout life, 2) lower/worse academic outcomes, 3)lower/worse social opportunities, 4) higher likelihood of criminal activity and/or continuing the "too young to have babies" cycle. All of which are drains on society in general and on that family in particular.

    So why then do both sides sail right past the pertinent debate of how to stop/limit the number of women in this position? If we would spend just a small amount on "Prevention" rather than all the downstream "cures" we all would be so much better off.

    This is one of the few medical treatments/devices i could be on board with fully funding through Federal means. FREE contraceptives for all women. And open choice and access for any female over 16.

    I am pro-life but I can certainly see and empathize with the view that requiring a woman to carry the child for 9 months and birth it, not to mention possibly becoming a mom way too early, or when you are unable/unprepared to deal with it can seem like a punishment. Obviously most of the time, women are in control and can make a reasoned choice about unprotected sex but some estimates put rape-pregnancy at 5% of the totals and when you factor in many of the other bad ways a pregnancy can go (risky pregnancies, etc) you probably have as much as 10% of pregnancies that have what I would consider "good reasons" to take a pause on prosecuting abortion.
     
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  9. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

    The pro life people who don't want birth control readily available and dirt cheap hurt my brain.
     
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  10. yelladawgdem

    yelladawgdem 2,500+ Posts


    BrntOrng. the answer to your intelligent, well written and reasoned proposal is simple. The individuals and organizations that you would need to present and discuss these ideas with are not pro-life. They are pro-birth. Because once that cord is cut, as your piece points out, they pretty much wash their hands of the kid, knowing full well that this child of God's is overwhelming likely to end up in the cycle of poverty, crime, inferior health care, limited educational opportunities, etc, of which you wrote. There is not a school teacher anywhere who doesn't hear of more budget cuts and think to themselves, "Educate them now or incarcerate them later.........Pro-life my ***"

    Additionally, Gov. Abbott we know you haven't grown any balls to address the issue with the electrical grid, where children froze to death in their beds on your watch, but I guess when the kids are brown it doesn't hurt your pro-life creds so much. But Greg, did you grow a vagina instead and that qualifies you to have an opinion on legislating a women's physical rights?

    Just asking for a friend.
     
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  11. mchammer

    mchammer 10,000+ Posts

    The insane amount of government spending for the poor (whether it is public education, food stamps, housing assistance, free school meals, EIC, welfare, etc.) undermines your point. So, if I support more abortion, I get to cut my taxes in half? Is that the deal on the table, because I believe that is what you said.
     
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  12. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    One area mentioned in yella's post that does need looked into
    HOW are school districts spending the money.
    AFAIK The Texas Lege has NEVER cut the school budget. They have cut the amount of increase. And I bet local taxes for districts are also up
    I bet if any smart business person looked into school budgets , where and how the money is spent there is wasted money that could go to teachers salaries and actual classroom instruction.
     
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  13. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

    He didn't say dick about government spending. He spoke of lives lived in a cycle of poverty.
     
  14. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

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  15. Horn2RunAgain

    Horn2RunAgain 1,000+ Posts

    Getting them behind bars and KEEPING them there would work.
     
  16. BrntOrngStmpeDe

    BrntOrngStmpeDe 1,000+ Posts

    You make part of my point for me here. While i agree that the GOP has given too little consideration of the 10% that are possibly "good reasons" to allow abortion, the left gives way to little consideration of the other 85-90% that could have and should have known and done better. the majority of unplanned pregnancies aren't 15-17 yr old girls, they are 18-25 year old Women. For most, this wasn't a failed contraceptive attempt, it was simply bad judgement and rolling the dice. One must end a life to have an abortion, to "roll the dice" on such a huge moral outcome is incredibly selfish. And to simply shrug this off as "my body, my choice" is immoral. And the tired "men don't have a right to weigh in because we don't have vaginas" is really B.S. While the scales certainly lean towards women being pro-choice, there are MILLIONS of females that are pro-life and support this legislation. This is not "men legislating women's bodies". This is a society deciding what is or is not the right moral decision. A difficult choice because substantial harm can be done in both outcomes.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  17. BrntOrngStmpeDe

    BrntOrngStmpeDe 1,000+ Posts

    I would argue that if do better with this choice and funding priority, most of the other societal issues will substantially diminish. While the democrat party would not likely reward this societal improvement with fewer welfare programs and taxing requests, it would just Be Better. In my opinion it would be the "right thing to do" for millions of women and millions of unborn babies. Sometimes it is not about lowering our taxes, sometimes it really is about making things better for people.
     
  18. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 10,000+ Posts

    The one thing that all sides of the abortion issue could agree on is that fewer abortions are a good thing. Even the Pro-Choice crowd don't want abortions. Look at how much places like Planned Parenthood invest in free contraceptives as an example.

    It's unfathomable that we can't resolve the abstinence vs. contraception issue.
     
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  19. mchammer

    mchammer 10,000+ Posts

    It would also be better if the dem party pushed parental responsibility.
     
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  20. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 10,000+ Posts

    Choosing an abortion is taking responsibility for ones actions. Throwing on "parental" demonstrates just how far the sides are from rational conversations.
     
  21. Monahorns

    Monahorns 5,000+ Posts

    Is birth control really that expensive?
     
  22. Monahorns

    Monahorns 5,000+ Posts

    Bull$hit. It is killing a baby to escape the consequences of one's actions.
     
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  23. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 10,000+ Posts

    Less expensive than the societal impacts of unwanted children.
     
  24. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada 10,000+ Posts

    Football coaches and stadium/travel expenses are a good place to start looking.
     
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  25. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 10,000+ Posts

    You and I have different definitions of "baby". A zygote doesn't qualify in my book. In fact, until viability outside the womb I wouldn't bestow it the rights you would any other human.
     
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  26. HornHuskerDad

    HornHuskerDad 5,000+ Posts

    When a young girl learns the facts of life, she is taught (or should be) that one possible outcome of having sexual intercourse is pregnancy. The answer is obvious - if you don't want to be pregnant, don't have intercourse.
    Abortion should not be viewed as "after-the-fact birth control."
     
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  27. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada 10,000+ Posts

    You are morally repugnant.
     
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  28. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    Sangre
    The stadium does not come out of school budgets
    Coaches salaries do. I do not know if there is revenue generated from games.
     
  29. Monahorns

    Monahorns 5,000+ Posts

    So people have no excuse to have unwanted children then.
     
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  30. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

    That's aggressive. Like Willy Wonka aggressive.
     

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