Thomas More Society comes up with Texas strategy
Private citizens could sue anyone who helps a resident of a state that has banned abortion

2022-06-30T18:32:18-07:00July 1st, 2022|

Several national antiabortion groups and their allies in Republican-led state legislatures are advancing plans to stop people in states where abortion is banned from seeking the procedure elsewhere, according to people involved in the discussions.

The idea has gained momentum in some corners of the antiabortion movement in the days since the Supreme Court struck down its 49-year-old precedent protecting abortion rights nationwide, triggering abortion bans across much of the Southeast and Midwest.

The Thomas More Society, a conservative legal organization, is drafting model legislation for state lawmakers that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a resident of a state that has banned abortion from terminating a pregnancy outside of that state. The draft language will borrow from the novel legal strategy behind a Texas abortion ban enacted last year in which private citizens were empowered to enforce the law through civil litigation.

The subject was much discussed at two national antiabortion conferences last weekend, with several lawmakers interested in introducing these kinds of bills in their own states.

The National Association of Christian Lawmakers, an antiabortion organization led by Republican state legislators, has begun working with the authors of the Texas abortion ban to explore model legislation that would restrict people from crossing state lines for abortions, said Texas state representative Tom Oliverson (R), the charter chair of the group’s national legislative council.

“Just because you jump across a state line doesn’t mean your home state doesn’t have jurisdiction,” said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel for the Thomas More Society. “It’s not a free abortion card when you drive across the state line.”

The Biden Justice Department has already warned states that it would fight such laws, saying they violate the right to interstate commerce.

In relying on private citizens to enforce civil litigation, rather than attempting to impose a state-enforced ban on receiving abortions across state lines, such a law is more difficult to challenge in court because abortion rights groups don’t have a clear person to sue….

The above comes from a June 29 story in the Washington Post.

7 Comments

  1. Federalist July 1, 2022 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Please, can we stop it with this? Different states have different laws. That’s federalism. That’s our Constitutional republic. What next? Will overzealous legislators propose charging people who cross state lines to gamble with a crime?

    This is as bad as California refusing to do business with or fund travel to states whose laws the Democrats disagree with, mostly regarding LGBT stuff.

    California passed a dumb law that bans plastic. Well, that’s up to California. I don’t agree with it, but California has a right to have such a law.

    Let every state be its own state with regard to the laws it may legitimately enact, and no other state should interfere with that nor oppose it.

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    • Paul Stanley Bergeron July 3, 2022 at 5:53 am - Reply

      Should states have different tolerances for other issues, such as human trafficking?

  2. Which one? July 1, 2022 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Which one of the “Christian lawmakers” pushing this law will be the first one caught using a gay app to find a hookup?

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  3. Anne TE July 2, 2022 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Some innocent people have been set up at times. One was a priest. I do not open any appts on my phone or computer if I do not know who is sending them. If you do get a porn appt., especially with child porn on it, and open it accidentally, call the police immediately and let them know what is happening; otherwise, you can be falsely accused. They might want to trace it.

    • apps require download July 2, 2022 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      You seem confused. Are you referring to a text or an email?
      You usually have to download an app.

  4. Fr. Paul Armes July 2, 2022 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Shades of Dred Scott. This is going to force a national amendment move.

  5. C fortney October 19, 2022 at 8:10 am - Reply

    This issue was given to the states to handle, however, it seems like only the lawmakers are making the decisions. Each state should put the abortion issue on their ballots to vote on. whether its care in the state they live in or another state. What I disagree most about all of this is that no man, especially a politician, who cannot get pregnant, doesnt have a monthly cycle or can deliver a baby, ( and then care for it for life, even if Dad isnt around) should have any say about the health care of a woman.

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