The “heartbeat” bill has opened a can of worms that could potentially lead any state to enlist bounty hunters in order to circumvent the Constitution.
Texas’ new abortion law, Senate Bill 8 or S.B.8, incentivizes their citizens to open a civil lawsuit against anybody who assists a person who receives an abortion after six weeks. If the plaintiff’s lawsuit is successful, they will be awarded a minimum of $10,000 as well as costs and attorney’s fees.
Also, the law does not protect the defendant from being taken to court multiple times over the same abortion case but states that the money can only be collected once.
S.B.8 is an unprecedented attempt to bypass Roe v. Wade by leaving the enforcement of the law in private citizens’ hands and not state officials.
We believe that Texas if their law holds in court, will open the floodgates for other states to copy its legislation in an attempt to circumvent constitutional rights they deem unnecessary.
Other states such as North Dakota, Mississippi, Indiana and Florida have already taken measures to enact similar legislation. A strong precedent would be set within the court system if lawsuits from multiple states succeed. This could, and more than likely would, empower activists from blue states to react with their own similar bans, dragging the abortion bans strong precedent in tow.
For example, if California were to pass a similar law allowing its citizens to sue gun vendors, ammunition sellers or gun manufacturers as a form of gun control; this would infringe on the people’s constitutional right to bear arms while rewarding whistleblowers with a bounty.
Other states where abortion rights are on thin ice may also follow Texas’ lead and send their own citizens after those seeking the procedure.
Loopholes such as this undermine human rights and their protections and paves an ugly road to an Orwellian America.
The Republican majority Supreme Court dismissed an emergency application that would allow them to decide its constitutionality.
We urge that the five justices who voted to abstain should reconsider their position and fight for the Constitution. By not making a decision on whether or not this “loophole” is Constitutional, you are complicit in opening the floodgates for states to circumvent federal control.