AUSTIN (KXAN) – Could the Texan economy soon feel the backlash to the highly controversial – and many argue, unconstitutional – state law that bans abortion after six weeks?
This week the state of Texas made national headlines after Senate 8, the most restrictive abortion law in the United States, went into effect on September 1. The bill bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected – six weeks before many women even know they are pregnant.
The Texas Abortion Act goes into effect – it is most restrictive in the US
In fact, many doctors and health care professionals argue that “fetal heartbeat” is a misnomer because what many hear as “heartbeat” at this stage is actually an “electrically induced flicker” of fetal tissue called the “pole” .
SB 8 also allows private individuals, abortion providers, or anyone assisting an abortion to sue: many say this is essentially putting a bounty on their heads and encouraging frivolous lawsuits. Citizens can be sued for up to $ 10,000 if an abortion is performed outside of the six weeks.
President Joe Biden said the law blatantly violates Roe v. Wade set constitutional rights. Biden criticized SB 8 as “unconstitutional chaos”.
In a statement on Thursday, Biden said:
“This law is so extreme that it doesn’t even allow exceptions in the case of rape or incest. And not only does it allow total strangers to interfere in a woman’s most private decisions – it even gives them an incentive to do so with the prospect of $ 10,000 if they win their case. “
Pres. Joe Biden
Despite the outcry, the US Supreme Court approved the law Tuesday after a group of abortion clinics and lawyers in Texas moved to block the law. SCOTUS could take another step soon.
How many lawsuits could result from Texas’s new abortion law?
Biden hit SCOTUS for refusing to block the law without allowing a lower court to hear it first, but promised to launch a “state effort” in response to the decision. Biden said the federal government will work “to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe, and what legal tools we have to keep women and providers safe from the effects of the bizarre plan of the.” Protect Outsourced Enforcement by Individuals in Texas “. Parties. “
Previously, companies like Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Unilever and Patagonia had urged Texan lawmakers to reconsider more restrictive electoral laws in Texas, which were also passed despite national outrage.
Direct threats from corporations have not yet been issued, but have been encouraged to do so.
Colorado US MP Steven Woodrow tweeted about the bill: “Karen, who monitors how often you water your lawn, is now getting $ 10,000 to patrol your uterus. #BoycottTexas. ”On Saturday morning, almost 13,000 tweets carried the hashtag.
Karen, who oversees how often you water your lawn, is now getting $ 10,000 to patrol your uterus. # BoycottTexas
– Rep. Steven Woodrow (@WoodrowForCO) September 1, 2021
Earlier this week, Shar Dubey, CEO of matchmaking company Bumble and Match, both headquartered in Texas, wrote in a memo: “Surely everyone should see the danger of this highly punitive and unfair law, not even for victims of rape or incest. I would hate it if our state takes this big step back into women’s rights. “
Actress Rosanna Arquette hit the headlines Saturday after announcing she’d refused to be in a movie because “it’s being shot in Texas”.
I just turned down a movie I love because it’s being shot in Texas.
– ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) September 3, 2021
Author Megan Kelley Hall is one of the strongest voices of the call with her tweets, calling on certain companies to act.
In the blink of an eye, Lyft and Uber announced they would cover legal fees for drivers sued for taking pregnant people to abortion clinics. In a statement, Lyft wrote, “This law is inconsistent with people’s basic rights to privacy … nothing about how you drive, drive, or interact with each other should change.”
Lyft’s Defense Fund will reportedly cover the entirety of all legal fees a driver might incur. Uber later followed suit with its own announcement, saying, “Drivers shouldn’t be put at risk of getting people where they want to go. Team Uber is there too and covers legal fees in the same way. Thanks for the push. “
Lyft also said it would donate $ 1 million to Planned Parenthood to help combat “an attack on women’s right to vote.”
I’m breaking all deals in Texas. Do not buy any products made there. Don’t change there. Don’t pay to see sports teams there or FROM there. Don’t buy from companies there. PERIOD. I’m breaking off my relationship with Texas. #BoycottTexas #abortionBan #abortion
– Fully vaccinated Tom Leykis (@tomleykis) September 2, 2021
What’s happening now?
A Travis County District Court judge has already issued an injunction against the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life: stopping the group from suing Texas Planned Parenthood centers. Meanwhile, hordes of TikTok users spammed a whistleblower website – which promises anonymous reporting of prohibition violations – with fake tips, memes and even the script for the 2007 animated “Bee Movie”. The website got so overwhelmed that their tip line was closed. The domain host GoDaddy has also completely closed the site for violating the terms of service.
While it’s still relatively early days, the eyes of Texans are now on American companies to make the difference.
Elsewhere, some SB-8 opponents oppose a boycott of Texan companies, arguing that those responsible will not be the ones to feel the effects. Instead, some individuals and organizations, like advocacy advocacy The Lilith Fund, recommend directing funds to abortion funds that make it easier to access.