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The New Texas Abortion Law: A Primer

Pam Locker, LWV of Indiana Women's Health Advocate | Published on 9/19/2021
* This article was originally published in the LWV Indiana newsletter on September 16, 2021.

The New Texas Abortion Law: 
A Primer 

The implications of Texas SB8 are far-reaching, harkening to vigilantism as it was in
the wild, wild West. The impact could reach other states like Indiana, where lawmakers
look to implement the same dystopian tactics. The League of Women Voters of
Indiana Women's Health Advocate
Pam Locker breaks down the many ways
Texan women's civil rights can now legally be subverted.

What can I say about the outrageous Texas Abortion law that bans almost all abortions after 6 weeks?

Joanne Evers (West Lafayette), Bri Glidden and Linda Hanson (Muncie), Betsy Kachmar (Fort Wayne), Sherry Watkins (Indianapolis) and I have all been trading information.

Here are some insights:

ere are some great articles in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization in Austin, TX. The first article,“We annotated Texas’ near-total abortion ban,”was published on September 10 and you can read the full article HERE.



These are some of the more egregious
provisions you might not be aware of:

• If the plaintiff wins, they will be awarded at least $10,000 by the state as well as costs and attorney fees -- which the defendant will have to pay.

• Plaintiffs have four years to sue.

• Serial plaintiffs are protected to litigate each of their cases.

• The burden of proving the abortion was intended to be lawful is on the defendant.

• The defendant cannot claim that the patient’s right to abortion is a defense for performing one, unless the Supreme Court says otherwise.

• A rapist can’t sue, but someone else can sue overan abortion provided to a survivor of rape.


The second article is"Texas lawmakers’ novel approach to skirting Roe v. Wade leaves abortion rights advocates without a legal playbook."It delves into thelegal machinations of this maverick bill.Of course we know that the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to block enforcement of SB 8. But here is another "another possible, albeit unprecedented, approach: "Abortion providers might successfully be able tofile a class-action lawsuit against all people who are able to sue them under the new law— therefore blocking any lawsuits before they happen." We can only hope this works. To read the entire article go HERE.

To learn all the juicy details about how the Texas legislature came up with this crazed law go HERE. Here's a summary: "Attorney and former Texas solicitor general Jonathan F. Mitchell is known for his ability to identify legal loopholes where no one else does." He tested out a version of SB8 in numerous communities throughout Texas before he basically wrote the Texas bill.

As far as Indiana is concerned, there is more bad news. 
We already have more abortion restrictions than any state other than Louisiana, and on September 8th the7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel issued a 2-1 ruling that allows Indiana to continue enforcing the laws thatDistrict Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled against last month.It reinstated Indiana's telemedicine ban, along with state laws requiring in-person examinations by a doctor before medication-induced abortions can be performed and a prohibition on second-trimester abortions outside of hospitals or surgery centers. The appeals process is ongoing.

Also in Indiana, Senator Liz Brown is already working on a version of Texas SB8 for Indiana. State legislative leaders have announced that it won't be considered at the special session on redistricting, but we might see such a bill rear its head in the 2022 legislative session.

Experts say the real test ofRoe Vs. Wade will come in aMississippi case that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in late fall --Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization. According to Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post, abortion providers told the Supreme Court on Monday that "approving a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks would “scuttle a half-century of precedent and invite states to ban abortion entirely.”

And finally, some good news!---

The US League of Women Voters is participating in the October 2 Women's March for Reproductive Rights, which is taking place in Washington, DC and other cities. So far Indiana Marches are taking place in these cities

Fort Wayne
West Lafayette

HERE for more info. 

HERE is the LWV statement on the SCOTUS failure to block the Texas Abortion Law.

Alicia Gurrieri shares her own experience, discussing how the practice of gerrymandering impacts reproductive rights
and access in the LWV National Blog HERE.