Republican state lawmakers associated with the Texas Freedom Caucus have sent a letter to the prominent Texas law firm, Sidley Austin, threatening to have them disbarred if they help women in the state seeking abortions.
In the letter sent by the Chairman of the Texas Freedom Caucus, GOP state Rep. Mayes Middleton, to the Sidley Austin management committee chair, Yvette Ostolaza, Middleton wrote:
“It has come to our attention that Sidley Austin has decided to reimburse the travel costs of employees who leave Texas to murder their unborn children. It also appears that Sidley has been complicit in illegal abortions that were performed in Texas before and after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392. We are writing to inform you of the consequences that you and your colleagues will face for these actions.”
Welcome to Texas where: Texas Freedom Caucus sends law firm letter and threatens to disbar attorneys who aid in abortions also will send special prosecutors to cities where DA’s refuse to prosecute. They are going to arrest attorneys who help. Fuck them. Come and get me! pic.twitter.com/arnng8Nb12
— Sara Spector (@Miriam2626) July 9, 2022
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs – overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling giving women the constitutionally protected right to privacy and bodily autonomy – Republican-led states and legislatures have ramped up the cruelty by introducing and passing legislation that allows the prosecution — and persecution — of those seeking safe and legal reproductive healthcare.
These measures target everyone from doctors to abortion providers – and now lawyers who help their clients.
Sidley Austin has been under investigation by the State of Texas for “possibly” assisting in medical abortions in violation of Texas’ Heartbeat Act, or SB8, as it’s known. The restrictive abortion bill banning abortions after six weeks went into effect in September 2021.
Before and after Roe was overturned, multiple corporations pledged support for their female employees, publicly stating they would reimburse the travel expenses of those who traveled out of state for reproductive health care. These companies are being targeted too.
The Texas Freedom Caucus plans to introduce bills in the 2023 legislative session that will:
“Prohibit any employer in Texas from paying for elective abortions or reimbursing abortion-related expenses – regardless of where the abortion occurs, and regardless of the law in the jurisdiction where the abortion occurs.”
Several jurisdictions — including the left-leaning Dallas, Harris County (Houston), and Bexar County (San Antonio — have vowed not to enforce the draconian anti-abortion law of 1925 that has now become the law in Texas after the rollback of Roe v. Wade’s protections. The Texas Freedom Caucus is going after them too by allowing for special prosecutors from across the state to prosecute them for failing to enforce the almost century-old Christo-fascist law.
Until Texans give Democrats the majority in their state legislature, you can expect that the Republican war on women — and their allies — will continue.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick
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