Sunday, September 5, 2021

Perhaps Lady Karma will give Texas anti-abortion statute lovers lifetimes as women and unwanted children in Afghanistan

Yesterday's It's high time Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court rules on Genesis 2:7 - "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." post contained my cheeky rant about what can be done in a Texas courtroom about the Texas anti-abortion law. 

I reposted the rant under American Historian Heather Cox Richardson's' latest letter about the Texas anti-abortion statute. 

Heather's letter is first below. Then, the rant. Then, a kaleidoscopic blizzard of blue spectrum responses- some playful and amusing, some graveyard serious, and one that just might have come from God's mouth to a rabbi's ear.

September 3, 2021

Heather Cox Richardson Sep 4 1,000 682

The new anti-abortion law in Texas is not just about abortion; it is about undermining civil rights decisions made by the Supreme Court during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The Supreme Court declined to stop a state law that violates a constitutional right.

Since World War II, the Supreme Court has defended civil rights from state laws that threaten them. During the Great Depression, Democrats under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began to use the government to regulate business, provide a basic social safety net—this is when we got Social Security—and promote infrastructure. But racist Democrats from the South balked at racial equality under this new government.

After World War II, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, and Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Republican appointed by Richard Nixon, the Supreme Court set out to make all Americans equal before the law. They tried to end segregation through the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, decision prohibiting racial segregation in public schools. They protected the right of married couples to use contraception in 1965. They legalized interracial marriage in 1967. In 1973, with the Roe v. Wade decision, they tried to give women control over their own reproduction by legalizing abortion.

They based their decisions on the due process and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed by Congress in 1866 and ratified in 1868 in the wake of the Civil War. Congress developed this amendment after legislatures in former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” that severely limited the rights and protections for formerly enslaved people. Congress intended for the powers in the Fourteenth to enable the federal government to guarantee that African Americans had the same rights as white Americans, even in states whose legislatures intended to keep them in a form of quasi-slavery.

Justices in the Warren and Burger courts argued that the Fourteenth Amendment required that the Bill of Rights apply to state governments as well as to the federal government. This is known as the “incorporation doctrine,” but the name matters less than the concept: states cannot abridge an individual’s rights, any more than the federal government can. This doctrine dramatically expanded civil rights.

From the beginning, there was a backlash against the New Deal government by businessmen who objected to the idea of federal regulation and the bureaucracy it would require. As early as 1937, they were demanding an end to the active government and a return to the world of the 1920s, where businessmen could do as they wished, families and churches managed social welfare, and private interests profited from infrastructure projects. They gained little traction. The vast majority of Americans liked the new system.

But the expansion of civil rights under the Warren Court was a whole new kettle of fish. Opponents of the new decisions insisted that the court was engaging in “judicial activism,” taking away from voters the right to make their own decisions about how society should work. That said that justices were “legislating from the bench.” They insisted that the Constitution is limited by the views of its framers and that the government can do nothing that is not explicitly written in that 1787 document.

This is the foundation for today’s “originalists” on the court. They are trying to erase the era of legislation and legal decisions that constructed our modern nation. If the government is as limited as they say, it cannot regulate business. It cannot provide a social safety net or promote infrastructure, both things that cost tax dollars and, in the case of infrastructure, take lucrative opportunities from private businesses.

It cannot protect the rights of minorities or women.

Their doctrine would send authority for civil rights back to the states to wither or thrive as different legislatures see fit. But it has, in the past, run into the problem that Supreme Court precedent has led the court to overturn unconstitutional state laws that deprive people of their rights (although the recent conservative courts have chipped away at those precedents).

The new Texas law gets around this problem with a trick. It does not put state officers in charge of enforcing it. Instead, it turns enforcement over to individual citizens. So, when opponents sued to stop the measure from going into effect, state officials argued that they could not be stopped from enforcing the law because they don’t enforce it in the first place. With this workaround, Texas lawmakers have, as Justice Stephen Breyer noted in his dissent, “delegate[d] to private individuals the power to prevent a woman from…[exercising]...a federal constitutional right.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was more forceful, calling the measure “a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny.” And yet, the Supreme Court permitted that state law to stand simply by refusing to do anything to stop it. As Sotomayor wrote in her dissent: “Last night, the Court silently acquiesced in a State’s enactment of a law that flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents.”

A state has undermined the power of the federal government to protect civil rights. It has given individuals who disagree with one particular right the power to take it away from their neighbors. But make no mistake: there is no reason that this mechanism couldn’t be used to undermine much of the civil rights legislation of the post–World War II years.

On September 4, 1957, three years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, a crowd of angry white people barred nine Black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The white protesters chanted: “Two, four, six, eight, we ain’t gonna integrate.”

In 1957, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower used the federal government to protect the constitutional rights of the Little Rock Nine from the white vigilantes who wanted to keep them second-class citizens. In 2021, the Supreme Court has handed power back to the vigilantes.




Sloan Bashinsky
This once upon a time Alabama practicing attorney tries to imagine legions of self-righteous pro-lifers shutting down the Texas courts, which have not the personnel nor judges to process legions of private bounty hunter lawsuits.
I try to imagine the self-righteous pro-lifers proving in court that a woman who went to Planned Parenthood, or anywhere, actually had an abortion there. Aren't medical records privileged?
What lawyer would take such a case with only a possible $10,000 bounty reward? Perhaps a lawyer who had hundreds of such cases on a 50 percent contingency fee.
If I were a lawyer defending such cases, I would put the self-righteous plaintiffs on the witness stand and ask them if they are Christians?
After they say, Yes, I ask them if they ever raised on their dime an unwanted baby to prevent an abortion?
After they say, No, I ask them if they ever offered to raise on their dime an unwanted child to prevent an abortion?
After they say, No, I ask them if they are not guilty of not trying to save unwanted babies, thus they killed the unwanted babies?
After they say, No, I ask the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, based on the plaintiffs' sworn testimony that they are guilty of killing unwanted babies.
If the judge then gleefully dismisses the lawsuits, the plaintiffs can appeal.
If the judge ignores the evidence and does not dismiss the lawsuits, I ask the plaintiffs if they if read the Bible?
After they say, Yes, I ask them if the Bible is the inerrant, literal word of God?
After they say, Yes, I hand them a New King James Bible and ask them to open it to Genesis 2:7 and read it to the court:
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."
I ask the judge to dismiss, based on the plaintiffs' sworn testimony life begins with the first breath of life.
If the judge gleefully rules against the plaintiffs, then the plaintiffs can appeal.
If the judge ignores the evidence and rules with the plaintiffs, then I file the appeals.
I get on Oprah.
NPR has me on the air.
I am vilified on FOX News.
I am preached and prophesied against in evangelical churches.
I am shot and killed leaving the courthouse.
The shooter claims it was to prevent me killing any more babies.
The State Attorney prosecutes me in the grave.
I put the State Attorney on the witness stand and ask if he/she's a Christian?
Texas lawyers and pro se defendants adopt my legal strategy.
The Texas courts are choked to death and unable to handle other kinds of cases.
FOX News and he Christian right go haywire.
The US Supreme Court gets a chance to rule on Genesis 2:7.

Jennifer (Loris, SC)
For what it's worth, I think most Christians would counter your initial argument with Jeremiah 1:5, rather than Genesis 2:7. Jeremiah 1:5 is the scripture most frequently cited in anti-abortion arguments - "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee..." Now, of course, the rest of the scripture refers to Jeremiah's pre-ordained calling to be a prophet, but as so often happens, scripture is taken out of context to prove a point. In this case, Christians, at least evangelical Christians use Jeremiah 1:5 to prove that life begins at conception (or even before!). Although I am personally a pro-life Christian (and I mean pro-life, as opposed to the narrow anti-abortion mind-set) I am heartily opposed to the new Texas law and to any attempts to overturn RvW.

Sloan Bashinsky
Jeremiah 1:5 is about God knowing the soul before it became a human being. Christians tend to read the Bible to suit their perspectives. But since you raised that from Jerimiah, I will ask when does the soul attach to a fetus? Just because it has a heartbeat, does it have a soul? Isn't having a soul what separates human beings from animals? does a soul attach to an embryo? Or, does a soul attach when the embryo is born and takes the first breath of life? I dare anyone to dare to say they know when a soul attaches.

I sure did enjoy this, Mr. Bashinsky! I think you should go on Oprah now!

Sloan Bashinsky
Do you know anyone who works for Oprah? :-)
Once upon a time, Jane Pauley interviewed me on TODAY about my first book, HOME BUYERS: Lambs to the Slaughter? Later, CNN and CBS Morning News interviewed me about my 3rd book, KILL ALL THE LAWYERS? A Clients Guide to Hiring, Firing, Using and Suing Lawyers. All was in italics.

Perhaps you could get on Democracy Now! and the Thom Hartmann show.

Sloan Bashinsky
Don't know how to go about that.

You need to write a letter with descriptions to the producer. They control.
For Oprah it is the same; you can find names on web.
But to find total details, you need to be a member of IMDb pro.

Sloan Bashinsky
Thanks, I wrote several times to Oprah some years ago and got no reply from anyone.

I do not know Oprah or anyone who works for her. Heck, for more than a year I've been asking all my friends to give me a nice introduction to Lawrence O'Donnell, and nothing has come from that yet, either!

Sloan Bashinsky
I wonder if Heather knows Oprah?

Lynell(VA by way of DC) 
Actually, we just learned that someone here in this forum taught Oprah when she was in, I think, junior high or high school!

Christine (FL)
My bet is that Oprah knows about Heather. My suggestion is contact Gayle King who works at CBS, I think cohosting their morning show. Gayle and Oprah are besties.

Sloan Bashinsky

Yep! Would love to see that!

Sloan, I am going to request that the Forum inaugurate the LFAA annual awards show. Twelve winners will be chosen from the following categories:
a) most informative comment
b) least informative
c) most confusing
d) most irrelevant
e) snarkiest
f) kindest
g) best written
h) angriest
i) funniest
j) most original
k) more caring
l) plagiarized
I would nominate 'Sloan's Texas Cases' for three of them.

Stuart (Paris, Fr)
Me too...but which 3?

Hi, Stuart. I gave Sloan the option for that and thought he'd jump at the chance, selecting 'plagiarized' to garner some more attention. Why don't you pick the categories that you think apply to your style?

Stuart (Paris, Fr)
False modesty precludes the possibilty of A, H, G and J of course and an inevitable desire for contradictory praise pushes towards B, C and D but i think I'll leave it to others to respond while hoping from time to time that I excel in all categories without necessarily steadily dominating or staying with any of them. Variety is supposed to be the spice of life, Fern. I like joining in the fun, provoking from time to time, informing as much as possible and helping people rise above themselves all the time. Facts and their oft intuitive analysis are always the base rock on which i, like you, wish to stand. Well expressed, they help more people get there.

I feel facts, sometimes, too much. Your reply veers very near Sloan for comedy. Modesty began to disappear after you wrote the letter D, but we stand together on some rock somewhere!

Stuart (Paris, Fr)
Kindred, complementary spirits will always find a place to stand together, Fern. It's a pleasure.

Sloan Bashinsky
Heh, well, I certainly plagiarized Genesis 2:7. As far as I know, I'm the only person who keeps putting that passage to the religious right. Started doing it in, mmmm, 1994.

Sloan, What do you think -- a counterfeit TONY Award medallion for plagiarism, a scale of injustice plaque for your humor and a sweet treat of your choice for originality?

Sloan Bashinsky
Thanks, Wonder how the the Texas red spectrum would vote?

daria (merida, yucatan)
They wouldn't vote because they don't come to this enlightened place.

I'm not going to get on enemy's front line. Sloan, please pick three of the categories as the 'artist's choice' and post. Thanks.

Sloan Bashinsky
Fern, you proposed it, then declined to pony up. So, here's my votes at this moment, subject to further wrinkles in space and time.

most original


most informative content
best written
most original

Well played, sir. I particularly like the Genesis quote with life conferred by the first breath. But... The primary problem I'm seeing is the new law works less as legal mechanism than as a powerful disincentive for any woman to consider getting an abortion, since even making an inquiry puts her at risk of exposure. As well as the bind it puts on any Dr.'s office or facility that offers the procedure, since they now become sitting duck targets of lawsuits. Which will encourage them to cease providing that care, at least until there is some clarity on how to proceed. This law is particularly insidious in multiple ways. I'm not fully aware of its status in regard to the Supreme Court, it seems they simply decided not to decide - yet. I can't imagine it will be allowed to stand once they do. There are, of course, more restrictions coming, as the anti-women's health crowd see their opportunity with the current trump stacked court. The best hope to retain women's medical and privacy rights seems to be Republicans' fear of a popular backlash against their invasive rule-making causing them electoral losses.

Sloan Bashinsky
From reader comments under my comment, it appears abortion providers in Texas have, in the main, stopped providing abortions because of the statute. I can imagine that was what the makers and backers of the statute hoped would happen. Perhaps Lady Karma will see to it that, in their next lifetimes, the makers and backers will be women or unwanted children in Afghanistan and similar places.

As I understand it, the law does not target the woman herself. Some great websites have popped up seemingly overnight. This one was shared by another commenter here:

I think you're right. The law still works on a psychological level of fear though. Who can a woman turn to for assistance, when even asking can endanger someone else?

Sloan Bashinsky
Looks to me like the Devil walking on the earth, this Texas statute.

In case you don't know, Georgia is investigating the Texas law, to see how they can amend their heartbeat law to mimic it.

Her healthcare providers. They are legally obligated by HIPAA to protect her healthcare info. Also it’s for $$ not jail time or bodily harm and as Sloan says, it will be a slow slog thru the courts and hopefully by the time any payment is legally determined due it will all be taken care of constitutionally? I don’t have a grasp on all of it but this is what it appears to be.

Christi McG (IL)
I do wonder what lawyers will charge for filing and representing these bounty hunters in court?

K Barnes
Draconian fascist law.

Long time ago and far, far away I grew up in an evangelical church in Wheaton, IL. I love the Genesis 2:7 quote, especially from the "old translation" King James (maybe a gay king). As a teen I even remember that my home church was for making abortion legal, before tricky dick used it to try and split the Roman Catholics. We even were taught that you shouldn't marry a Catholic but my first serious girlfriend was a Catholic so I guess that is were I joined the lost souls.

Sloan Bashinsky
Long time ago and far, far away I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and my mother finally bolted that church and took me and my siblings with her to a newly formed Episcopal church, and all hell broke loose from her parents and my father's parents and their Baptist ministers, as if my mother had damned herself and her children to hell. Abortion was not an issue back then. By and by, after several passes, I drifted away from churches, and eventually I came to wonder when am I ever not in church? We are in church right now, aren't we?

Your mom’s rebellion served you well Sloan. ❤️

K Barnes
Wear a bullet proof vest. I look forward to reading more!!! Lol

Sloan Bashinsky
Some days I hope a sniper would take me out and save me from dying of various old age ailments creeping up on me faster now. It really pisses me off that so-called Christians against abortion do not line the block around Planned Parenthood, for just one example, begging to adopt and raise on their dimes pregnant women's unwanted future babies.

Terrific logic! And given civil suits are low priority, what are the chances that one will be heard in the next five years? Great post.

Sloan Bashinsky
I meant literally how the lawsuits could be defended by Texas attorneys and/or pro se defendants in civil lawsuits brought under this statute. Such an insurgency could make the Texas civil courts a giant international circus. The U.S. Supreme Court would be hard pressed not to take the case and rule on the statute and on Genesis 2:7.

In my dreaming world, everyone woman in Texas who seeks an abortion and everyone who even tangentially assists them would post public notice of what they've done to make sure there's a huge wave of such cases in the courts. And if the Texas bigots decline to bring suit for all of them, then the friends and spouses of the "offenders" should bring those suits to make sure that Texas courts never again hear another case on any other subject.

Now there’s an interesting thought. Strength in solidarity and at the same time annihilating the shame. In this generation, I can definitely see women who are ready for that.

Sloan Bashinsky
Regardless of what happens to the Texas court system, it might be a lot harder for a while, or for a long while, to get abortions in Texas, and it's getting the abortion that triggers the statute and its bounty hunting remedies and penalties. I imagine other red spectrum states will pass similar or same law.

K Barnes
Meanwhile desperate women are left alone again, providers disappearing, empathic counsel threatened, the moralizing field day grinding them down further. No exclusion for RAPE or INCEST?? They’ve gone mad.

Lynell(VA by way of DC)
Absolutely, LK. If you think the Arizona Cyber Ninjas are slow, you should get a look at some courts' dockets, especially now in the midst of our pandemic!

You rock, Sloan! Join us!

Sloan Bashinsky
Will do.

I wondered about this. Plus the funding of it. My understanding is that the 10K truly is the bounty paid to the person making the complaint. The legal fees are also pain in addition to that. I was surprised that clinics stopped providing services at midnight. Is it legal for private fascist donors to pay these bounties and legal fees? Surely Texas tax payers will not stand for it. And yes, frivolous suits clogging up the real justice work?? How will that go over?

Stephen from Sunny Seattle
I just reported Cecelia Abbott for getting an abortion. When asked how I know, I say that I'm the one who got her preggers. Y'know, that's what guys do...

naughty boy

Stephen from Sunny Seattle
Dontcha know it!

My guess is that Texas isn't really expecting citizens to act as vigilantes, because many abortion providers will cease performing procedures, and pregnant women will be afraid to seek abortions. As pointed out, this will open the door for other repressive laws, though, and I believe that's the point.

Sloan Bashinsky
Based on some of the reader comments here, that seems to be the effect in Texas, and I can't imagine the hell pregnant Texas women who don't want to give birth already are experiencing internally, nor how they are coping, nor how it will play out later for them and, if they give birth, their children.

Lynell(VA by way of DC)
I'm afraid you are right, Nancy. Our best hope is Democrats winning the 2022 election because of this.

Jack (FL-NY-NJ)
Yes, elections are the best hope, however threatened they may be, if not the only hope, short of a disuniting of the supposedly united states of America. Trouble with 'disuniting' or 'fracturing' as mentioned above is that the split lacks geographic boundaries as the 1861 attempted split did. Where is the 'fracture line' in a State, or a nation for that matter, that is split 60-40? I do not expect an answer in my lifetime.

Lynell(VA by way of DC)
I too have been trying to figure out what a split would look like. If you're in NJ, you're good to go. But if you're in FL, not so much. Virginia is really split. The denser populated cities make us a blue state, but the rural part is very red.

Stephen from Sunny Seattle
You know who wants a split more than anything?

I agree, Lynell. If we lose the midterms, all hopes will be dashed. BTW, I can't find the earlier post about the women's marches. I want to sign up, and it would save me some time if I could find the link.

Lynell(VA by way of DC)
Is this it?

kim WA
all signed up

Bless you, Lynell! Going there now.

Sloan Bashinsky
I think you are right, Nancy. Lots of abortion providers don't want to be sued, although, not being a pregnant woman who doesn't want to carry the embryo to full term, I don't know about how they might proceed. I can imagine crossing state lines, like in the old days; and various not pretty downwind outcomes, while the makers and the backers of this statute are certain where they stand with God.

Thanks, Sloan. The women who can afford to do so will probably cross state lines to find services in a more sympathetic location, although many nearby states have also greatly limited such services. The people who can't afford to leave Texas will be the most affected. Somehow, I don't believe that most of the proponents of this disgusting legislation care a whit about their standing with God. I believe the majority are patting themselves on the back, having placed a foot squarely on the back on women, and are hoping that this legislation will also restrict civil rights in many ways. They must be stopped, and I believe it is now necessary to expand the Supreme Court, as well. Hypocrites, all!

Like I said the other day, out of state providers need to take turns making house calls in Texas. Kind of like Doctors without Borders......solves the problem of women needing to travel, Texas providers getting bagged, and what can the nosy neighbors prove without health records which are protected by HIPAA?

Sloan Bashinsky
I don't know if or how the Texas statue rewards the bounty hunters' lawyers. Because Texas Legislature passed the statute, lawsuits brought under it cannot be viewed frivolous by the courts. I think it's probably legal for private citizens to fund these kinds of lawsuits. Based on all I read online and see on TV, the red spectrum controls most of Texas. I have learned over the years that religious fanatics cannot be reached by logic, and perhaps not even by God. What I wrote was meant to be a blueprint for an insurgency in Texas against this is private bounty hunter law.

Diane (St Petersburg FL)
My understanding is that once found guilty, the defendants (spouse, clinic, friend, taxi, etc) will be required to pay the $10,000 bounty and legal fees of the accuser. This is why clinics closed so quickly. They are the most obvious target and these costs would bankrupt them.

If the defendant is found not guilty, there will be no compensation for his/her legal fees or any other compensation. Just another layer of the terror.

These clinics provide other healthcare services. All who work at the clinic would seemingly fall under HIPAA laws which should take preempt any state law? So if a woman does not share her personal health info with anyone else who is to know )in any way that can be proven). Or are they simply operating on presumption??

Diane (St Petersburg FL)
I misspoke. Most clinics aren’t actually closing, they have instead refused to perform abortions over 6 weeks, eliminating 75% of their business. Many had already closed due to multiple restrictions.

Ok good to know. Thank you! So private citizens with deep pockets and religious fervor can fund other private ratfinks without deep pockets but the same religious fervor? I very much appreciate your comment and response

Christy The convoluted situation that you discuss reminds me of the Abbot & Costello skit WHO’S ON FIRST, but what you raise is definitely not amusing.

Sloan Bashinsky
The Texas statute itself funds the civil lawsuits, private backers (fanatics) can provide even more funding. I can't imagine one Texas civil court judge in his/her right mind not worrying about his/her case load exploding exponentially.

Here are the words from the statute:
If a claimant prevails in an action brought under this
section, the court shall award:
(1) injunctive relief sufficient to prevent the
defendant from violating this chapter or engaging in acts that aid
or abet violations of this chapter;
(2) statutory damages in an amount of not less than
$10,000 for each abortion that the defendant performed or induced
in violation of this chapter, and for each abortion performed or
induced in violation of this chapter that the defendant aided or
abetted; and
(3) costs and attorney's fees.
(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), a court may not award
relief under this section in response to a violation of Subsection
(a)(1) or (2) if the defendant demonstrates that the defendant
previously paid the full amount of statutory damages under
Subsection (b)(2) in a previous action for that particular abortion
performed or induced in violation of this chapter, or for the
particular conduct that aided or abetted an abortion performed or
induced in violation of this chapter.
(d) Notwithstanding Chapter 16, Civil Practice and Remedies
Code, or any other law, a person may bring an action under this
section not later than the sixth anniversary of the date the cause
of action accrues.

Sloan Bashinsky
Thanks, William. I tried to use Google search to find the statute and didn't find it. In law school, it was drilled into us when we had a new case to see what the state code (statutes) had to say. Just because the lawmakers who dreamed up this Texas statute are religious fanatics (or politicians seeking to stay in office), doesn't mean they aren't really clever. Crafty works, too. I wonder how clever, or crafty, they will feel when their roll is called up yonder?

Cathy (Texas)
Here's the text of SB8

Public funds, Taxpayers funding private investigations, bounty hunters, vigilantly justice and the lawsuit? Crazy.

The defendant pays the fine & costs, not the state.

The defendant however would pay nothing until the suit is settled? Correct?

Yes, other than their own attorneys’ fees.

Except of course they have to pay their own legal representation. I wonder how insurances would interact with this.

Good question.
Another question would be if I, as an Atty advising a teen seeking a judicial bypass in lieu of parental consent, am also an “aider & abettor” and subject to SB8? Is the judge? Does SB8 breach attorney-client privilege?
Just such a fucking mess!

Thank you for your comment. I quite agree. aren't you bound by attorney client privilege? I don't understand how a civil suit could pre-empt such laws. How do they plan to prove the person was seeking a termination unless they are just presuming guilt. A huge effing mess! hopefully when the dust settles it will be laughed out of every court in the country

Lynell(VA by way of DC)
That was my original question, Christy. How do they plan to prove it. The only way I see that's possible is for the "plaintiff" to physically be "in the room where it happened," and bear witness to the same.
Or did I miss something and they only have to prove that the pregnant lady was "seeking a termination" without their actually being one.

Sloan Bashinsky
They do have to prove it, and how they would get through the doctor-client privilege puzzles me.
Based on reader comments here, it seems the statute has caused a lot of Texas abortion providers to stop providing abortions. If that holds, the statute got the result its makers and backers desired.
I wonder if the U.S; Supreme Court will get over itself and take the statute head on?

Thank you for helping us sort thru this. I can't imagine that abortion providers would stop providing services unless this presented a real threat to them.

It does & they have already stopped in several places around the state.

Yes, I'm aware that abortions beyond approx 6 weeks were stopped. wondering what the specific harm would be. the cost of legal defense?

Sloan Bashinsky
That, and $10,000 fine and paying the plaintiff's lawyers, if the defendants loose the case.

I was tickled by the possible Freudian slip in this part of your post: “The legal fees are also pain…”. :)
Apologies to Sloan, of course.

Sloan Bashinsky
oops, very well could have been a Freudian slip. Once upon a time I wrote, KILL ALL THE LAWYERS? A Clients Guide to Hiring, Firing, Using and Suing Lawyers. All was in italics. Published by Prentice-Hall division of Simon & Shuster

Your comment Sloan brings to mind "To Kill a Mockingbird." I imagine your line of questioning will be objected to by the plaintiff's attorney, and the judge will immediately sustain.
Regarding compensation, there is no shortage of ambulance-chaser-type attorneys who will make fast work of monetizing the bounty hunters against abortionist sinners. Let's not forget, that this law denies equal protection under the law because even defendants who win are denied reimbursement for legal costs. This opens the door to frivolous lawsuits.
I'm guessing, there won't be many cases after the first few when defendants realize that it's pointless to mount a defense in a "legal" system that is hell-bent on punishing them.

Sloan Bashinsky
Heh, I'm Alabama born and raised. To Kill a Mockingbird is maybe the most important novel ever written in America. Yes, I might very well meet that kind of judge in some Texas courtrooms. Hopefully, Texas has other kinds of judges, too. This statute opens the doors of Hell in my opinion. I mean that in the full Biblical sense.

We named our son after Atticus Finch.
Imagine the lives of the defendants. Undoubtedly some of the cases, especially the early ones, will be publicized. Some sanctimonious right wingers somewhere will go further and publish the names of all to shame them.

Sloan Bashinsky
And to paint bullseyes on them for the more fanatical right wingers to take to a level not contemplated in the Texas statute - vigilante

Yeah, literal vigilante since may R majority states have passed laws allowing guns ANYWHERE including schools and polling places. If other states do likewise in regards to voting, I can easily imagine a Proud Boy with his AK 47 slung over his shoulder and loudly saying something like "Boy, I hope none of these voters make an error on their ballots since they can be sued." Intimidation much?

Lynell(VA by way of DC)
Sloan, I am so glad to have asked the questions I asked, and that you answered the ones I didn't ask but would have if I had thought of them. Thank you so much!

Sloan Bashing, I love it! Do you think your killer, who would probably us an assault rifle, claim a 2nd Amendment defense of his right to use such a rifle, since it is designed only to kill human beings?

Sloan Bashinsky
Perhaps, but I imagine the shooter's primary defense is the law allows him to use deadly force to prevent someone from killing babies. Perhaps his face might be found in the Jan 6 Capitol mob? Perhaps he knows the QAnon shaman in that mob? Perhaps he attends a mega church in Dallas? Perhaps he becomes a national red spectrum hero and runs for Governor of Texas? Please understand, I belong to no political party and poke what seems to need poking.

Oops, sorry Sloan, I wrote your last name incorrectly. "Bashinsky", not "Bashing."

Sloan Bashinsky
I thought it was metaphor :-)

Could be!

The right wing loves religious exemptions so perhaps there should be one here.
This is from Rabbi Danny Horwitz:
I once had to counsel a woman to get an abortion.
Years ago, I was the rabbi of a congregation in greater Kansas City. I knew this woman had preexisting health issues and struggled to take care of the children she already had. Without sharing any other personal details, it was clear to me another pregnancy was going to push her over the edge.
Judaism teaches that potential life is sacred. Nevertheless, our religion also teaches that potential life is not the same as actual life, that a fetus is not a human being. This is directly derived from Scripture. Therefore, even during labor, the pregnant woman’s life has precedence over the life of the fetus. And if we have reason to believe a pregnancy will be a serious threat to the woman’s well-being, whether that be mentally, physically or otherwise, then she will be counseled to abort the fetus, and to do so in a way that maximally protects her own health.
Many books have been written about this, but these are the rules that guide Jewish law and those of us who seek to fulfill it in the practice of our religion. Each case is unique, but the principles remain the same. We would never celebrate the termination of potential life, but neither would we regard it as automatically forbidden. As my doctoral adviser, Rabbi Byron Sherwin, put it, “Judaism is neither pro-life or pro-choice. It depends on the life and it depends on the choice.”
Thus, when this woman came to me for direction, I told her not that she could have an abortion, but that she must have an abortion, that the God of my understanding would want her to do it.
My action would likely be considered a violation of SB 8, the new Texas law making it illegal to assist someone in pursuing an abortion. Thus, this law is a restriction on the practice of my religion. And it would likewise impose a religious standard upon anyone from any religion who believes abortion is not always the evil our state officials believe it to be.
This law cannot stand forever.

Sloan Bashinsky
William, I think every pro-lifer should be required to read Rabbi Horwitz's words every day until they agree with him or stand before St. Peter, where he reads your comment to them.
I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Politics in Alabama, and nearby, IS a RELIGION. Donald Trump recognized that and exploited it, saying what he knew Christian fanatics wanted to hear. They knew he was a very bad man and remade him into an Old Testament bad man prophet. When Trump stood before the Capitol holding up a Bible, when he told them God had sent him to them, they heard angels singing. Not the angels they thought they heard. Trump was pro-choice until he ran for president and saw a good way to nab a whole lot of votes by telling the Christian right he would pack the U.S. Supreme Court with their ilk. He brought the American Taliban out Egypt and the wilderness to the walls of Jericho. What they were really like became crystal clear on January 6. That white right mob were proxies for the American Taliban. We know this from the red spectrum's refusal to call for the heads of the white mob and their leader. As much as I admired Ruth Bader Ginsberg, she made a grave mistake not retiring and letting President Obama replace her. 
I am not a Democrat. I belong to no political party. I think belonging to a political party, like belonging to a religion, compromises ability to think and see properly. I very much think God exists. In fact, I know God exists, which is very different from believing it. I know the Devil exists, as well. This is very much a spiritual war, and the American right are not nearly as close to God as they think. The left needs to examine their position with God as well. The left pushed the Roe v. Wade envelop far past what that decision encompassed. The right wing backlash was inevitable.


I have to call you on your last few sentences, Sloan. Sounds like your religious convictions are being pressed upon us, too. I'd be interested in reading how RvW was pushed too far.
Sloan Bashinsky
Late term abortions were contemplated by Roe v. Wade? Certainly, to protect the mother's life, or if the fetus is deformed, but a very late decision she doesn't want to be a mother? Perhaps if hubby upped and died, or filed for divorce, or skipped town and she's left to shoulder the entire load. What if the father opposes the abortion and wants to raise the child, but she still wants an abortion? Does that sound like religious convictions?

Linda KCMO
The fallacy, alas, in arguing from the basis of religion is that the fuckers who passed the law don't give a shit about religion: it is just a useful tool with which to attack women, LGBTQ people, and others whose biology or lifestyles they find objectionable.

Sloan Bashinsky
In my experience, if they are Christians, they care a great deal about religion as they perceive and twist it to suit them. They are fanatics, America version of Taliban, and that they do not have God 100-percent on their side never occurs to to them. They are ingrained with the unshakable belief that only people who believe as they believe will die and go to heaven, and everyone else will die and burn in hell forever. They are going to be really surprised when they stand before St. Peter, so so speak, but meanwhile, I can imagine a great many Texas women deeply sympathize with Afghanistan women.
Bill (CT)
I fully agree that many of "those fuckers" don't give a shit about religion except as a useful tool. I thought that William Cash was making an interesting point, or perhaps the rabbi's story does, that the constitutionally protected first amendment right to free exercise of religion provides a different leverage point for arguing the unconstitutionality of Texas SB 8 than the Roe v. Wade use of a (stipulated) right to privacy. It doesn't matter if those fuckers don't give a shit about religion - we can still throw that in their face.
Lynell(VA by way of DC)
I immediately thought of freedom of religion once I started reading William's post, and how that could be, as you say, Bill, a leverage point at least for practicing Jews, if it ever got that far.
But how does all this figure into those you have the right “Freedom from Religion “?
Don Mead
It seems more likely to me Linda that everything Republicans do is designed to galvanize their fanatical and extremist base while at the same time crucifying the liberal left. Republicans exploit and manufacture social divisions for the sole purpose of divide and conquer, gain and retain power. Who easier to exploit than religious fanatics, political extremists, and anyone who has harbored resentments and grievances for generations (aka white males.)
Sloan Bashinsky
Religious fanatics don't give a tinker's damn about what other people think and believe. Ask any Afghan woman.
Your point is spot-on but unfortunately, it is not only white males who respond (dive in head first) to the exploitation.

Your comment gives me the opportunity to open an entirely different line of thought. I've lived in the deep south for the last half of my life. I moved here for a job and that job was opening to make friends and develop relationships with people who have lived here all their lives and more often than not they are multi-generational southerners.
I learned firsthand that southern women understand and accept that they live in a male-dominated society. Women are essentially treated like possessions (chattel) by men. Is this true in all cases? Of course not, but it represents the thinking of the vast majority of men and women.
The other important observation I've made is that politics in the south is akin to religion. For example, facts and evidence to the contrary (e.g. science) hold no sway over the party faithful. They see and hear what they choose to believe. The south is the bible belt and it is a society that operates solely on faith. People believe in God and Jesus purely out of faith. Politics is a close cousin to religion and they are totally intermeshed.
So Kasumii, it's true women are equal offenders but make no mistake they live in a male dominated society.
daria (merida, yucatan)
Spot on

Mary Ellen
But way back to the genesis of this idea of women as chattel...someone or something is benefiting by the continuation of this line of thinking...some system is continuing to reap benefits somewhere and to someones. Women are being exploited but to what end? I am skeptical that it is purely ideological. I think there must be a $ benefit being preserved. That's what I am trying to understand. If women really had power, would it diminish returns on investments? Would the economic system become more equitable? Would it hinder the exploitation of labor whereby a small group can reap outsized profit? There must be something at work in the system that is being protected. At this stage in the machine we call the U.S., things may be baked in and not even recognizable. Why else would everyone not recognize the cruelty behind these TX efforts?
daria (merida, yucatan)
A lot of somebodies are making a killing on women - globally, we have the pink tax, which is the up charge women pay for buying health and beauty aid products, clothing, sporting equipment and more geared for women.
In the US higher insurance premiums for all types of insurance - car, home, life, health; the cost of a simple haircut.
Globally, too, penalizing women because they are women is baked into many cultures - various religions believe a woman is unclean when she menstruates and women are penalized in most places for menstruation by paying a tidy sum for tampons, sanitary pads and cups. So just imagine growing up knowing that once a month you are considered unclean, particularly by men. Women, in a passive way to counter the disgust men regarded them with, took to crafting ceremonies to validate and honor the cycles of their bodies. This may seem like a solution but, IMHO, it's actually caving to make domination in a most cringe worthy manner. And women STILL go through the cleansing rituals men devised fir them centuries ago.
Then there are head coverings and "modest clothing" it's not just Muslim women, but Orthodox Jews and Conservative Christian Sects, Mennonite, Amish, Fundamentalist Mormons.
Then we get to rape and various forms of violence against women where, even today, women choose to not file a complaint against her rapist or abuser because the anguish she will go through because our system is unfairly tilted against her...even when the evidence of rape is incontrovertible, (or you live in a city/county/state where your rape kit ended up on a shelf with thousands of others).
Hiring, wages, benefits, bonuses, promotions. Unequal on all counts.
Car loans, mortgages, credit card interest.
Voting: what of the women who votes the way her husband tells her too? How insecure must one be to walk into a voting booth, draw the curtain and vote the way they were told to vote by their husband?
You ask why EVERYONE doesn't recognize the cruelty behind the efforts in Texas? Because, frankly, most men don't care to address the inequities women deal with on a daily basis. I'm not saying all men but I am saying a significant percentage of men simply don't give a damn. Why rock the boat if it will cause them personal loss or discomfort? Or loss? And truly, when we ask ourselves why the Equal Rights Amendment never passed, we know in our heart of hearts why. Now, go ask a family member, friend or acquaintance with a penis why the ERA never passed. I'm curious what their answers will be.
Usually I'd have citations for this kind of rant. Today I don't because I'm on my cellphone and it's nigh on impossible to flip from one screen to another. I'm sorry.
Sloan Bashinsky
I think there are a lot of right wing Christian Texas women who are very glad the Texas law was passed, and I also think, if Texas men had no say in the law being passed, it would not have been passed. I hope Lady Karma has in mind for those men to come back in their next lifetimes as Afghan women.
Christine (FL)
Your need no citations for this rant. Word.

Nancy (Tokyo, Japan)
Daria, you’ve triggered memories of those ubiquitous menstrual huts on Yap (Marianas) . . . and the signs on Bali, Sumatra, India, & Nepal, to prevent women from entering Hindu temples during their periods. While on safari in Zimbabwe, a park ranger told us that women were forbidden to cook during menstruation.

daria(merida, yucatan)
A woman's life can surely be complicated by the whims of men..

Hi Don. Thanks for your comment. I do agree with you. I lived in the Deep South for 12 years and came to the same conclusions, generally speaking.

Daniel  (5 gen nyc) 
Someone who gets it...
...and, I might add, it's uglier than that.
Safety first is the rule in these circumstances.
Liz Ayer, Nyc/MA23
Actually they just think Trump's base will vote for them in the midterms—we’re just the caste of women— it’s really all about hold on to their mostly white male power at all costs.
Sloan Bashinsky
I'm not a Democrat, nor a Republican, nor any Party, and I hate to think about the Republicans (Taliban) regaining control of the U.S. Congress.

No comments: