The potential first case against someone accused of breaking the law in Texas could be headed to court. Texas has a unique abortion ban that includes a private right of action — civil penalties for doing or assisting an abortion of an unborn baby with a beating heart counter to the state’s new pro-life law that has so far been upheld in court.
Other cases have been filed by pro-abortion attorneys seeking to poke fun at the law and disrupt it in court — making this potential case the first legitimate case under the ban.
Attorneys from the Thomas More Society have filed pre-suit petitions for discovery against two abortion funds that have admitted to violating the Texas Heartbeat Act. Directors of the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity and the Texas Equal Access Fund have admitted in court that their organizations paid for at least one abortion of an unborn child in Texas that had a detectable heartbeat.
Earlier this month Thomas More Society attorneys submitted petitions to take depositions from Neesha Daveì, the Deputy Director of the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, and Kamyon Conner, the Executive Director of the Texas Equal Access Fund. These depositions will uncover the individuals subject to civil liability and criminal prosecution for aiding or abetting these illegal abortions, which will include each fund’s employees, volunteers, and donors whose gifts are targeted or used for these illegal purposes.
The Texas Heartbeat Act imposes civil liability on any person who aids or abets an abortion performed after fetal heartbeat is detected, and anyone found to have assisted a post-heartbeat abortion must pay at least $10,000 in statutory damages plus costs and attorneys’ fees. It is also a criminal offense in Texas to “furnish the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended” unless the mother’s life is in danger, and anyone convicted of paying for another’s abortion faces two to five years imprisonment for each abortion that they funded or otherwise helped to take place.
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“It is illegal to pay for an abortion performed in Texas or to contribute to abortion funds to aid or abet these abortions,” explained Tom Brejcha, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society.
He added: “The Lilith Fund and the Texas Equal Access Fund have admitted to paying for abortions in violation of the Texas Heartbeat Act, and in doing so they have exposed their employees, volunteers, and donors to civil lawsuits and potential criminal prosecution. Those donations were used not for First Amendment advocacy but to end the lives of innocent unborn human beings with beating hearts.Those who are funding or assisting in bringing about these abortions will be revealed in discovery. Anyone who has aided or abetted an illegal abortion in Texas is subject to the full force of the law and imposition of these civil and criminal sanctions.”
As LifeNew reported earlier this month, A new report from the Texas health department confirms the state’s new abortion ban is saving as many as 90 babies from abortions each and every day. With the Texas heartbeat law having been in effect since September 1, that means as many as 13,860 babies have been saved from abortions in Texas.
A new report from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) confirms a substantial drop in abortions in September 2021 after implementation of the Texas Heartbeat Act. The state agency reported a total of 2,197 abortions in Texas after the ban took effect, compared to an astonishing 5,404 abortions committed the month before.
The 2,197 abortions in September represents a 60% decrease in abortions. Before the Texas Heartbeat Act, there were more than 160 abortions committed each day in Texas. In September, this plummeted to around 70 each day.
Texas Right to Life, the leading pro-life group behind the heartbeat law, tells LifeNews.com it’s delighted to know the law is saving babies.
Texas Right to Life Director of Media and Communication Kimberlyn Schwartz responded: “The success of the Texas Heartbeat Act is embodied by every child saved. For over 150 days, our work has rescued an estimated 100 babies per day. Our impact is only just beginning as more states seek to replicate our success and as we look to the Mississippi case that could overturn Roe v. Wade this summer.”
Read the Verified Petition to Take Deposition to Investigate a Lawsuit filed in the District Court, Jack County, Texas, 271st Judicial District, requesting to depose Neesha Davé of the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, here.