Texas Abortion Laws Not Yet Tough Enough, Says Advocacy Group

The anti-reproductive rights group Texas Right to Life is not satisfied with the 2021 Heartbeat Act, which created a vigilante-style enforcement mechanism empowering any individual in the U.S. to sue anyone who assists in an abortion in Texas.

According to Axios, the organization wants to make the law, which doesn’t have exceptions for rape and incest, even more draconian by including an option to sue out-of-state organizations that assist abortions by mailing abortion-inducing drugs to Texans. Texas Right to Life has been calling the proposed legislation, “Hold Abortionists Accountable.”

Texans overwhelmingly oppose laws that restrict abortion in cases of rape and incest, but reproductive rights opponents are undeterred. 

“We’re still in the stage of having conversations with legislators, but there is an interest in making sure the abortion industry is held accountable and assessing different legislative strategies for accomplishing that goal,” Kimberlyn Schwartz, Texas Right to Life’s media director, told Axios.

The Texas Heartbeat Act has inspired similar laws in Florida and Ohio, while California Gov. Gavin Newsom has trolled Gov. Abbott by placing full-page ads in several Texas newspapers drawing attention to a California gun law which emulates Texas’ vigilante abortion law. The legislation enables private citizens to sue people who make or sell banned weapons and is billed as “California’s answer to Texas’ perverse bill.”

“If Texas can ban abortion and endanger lives, California can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives. If Governor Abbott truly wants to protect the right to life, we urge him to follow California’s lead,” reads the ad.

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Editorial Cartoonist Nick Anderson has joined the Reform Austin newsroom, where he will employ the artistic skill and political insights that earned a Pulitzer Prize to drive coverage of Texas government. As managing editor, Anderson is responsible for guiding Reform Austin’s efforts to give readers the unfiltered facts they need to hold Texas leaders accountable. Anderson’s original cartoons will be a regular feature on RA News. “Reform Austin readers understand the consequences of electing politicians who use ideological agendas to divide us, when they should be doing the hard work necessary to make our state government work for everyone,” Anderson said. “As a veteran journalist, I’m excited about Reform Austin’s potential to re-focus conversations on the issues that matter to common-sense Texans – like protecting our neighborhoods from increasingly common disasters, healthcare, just to name a few.” Anderson worked for the Houston Chronicle, the largest newspaper in Texas, from 2006 until 2017. In addition to the Pulitzer, Anderson earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award. He’s also a two-time winner of Columbia College’s Fischetti Award, and the National Press Foundation’s Berryman Award. Anderson’s cartoons have been published in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other papers. In 2005, Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. The judges complimented his “unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages.”

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