CHAPMAN: How the Texas abortion law endangers gun rights

CHAPMAN: How the Texas abortion law endangers gun rights

Steve Chapman writes for the Chicago Tribune as well as being a syndicated columnist. If you attend an abortion-rights rally, you are not likely to see anyone wearing a Second Amendment T-shirt. Visit a gun range, and trust me, none of the pickup trucks will have Planned Parenthood decals. But the Texas abortion ban has some very different Americans joining in a chorus of, “Don’t tread on me.” The law prohibits any abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detected — as early as five weeks into a pregnancy. It makes no exceptions for women impregnated by rape or incest. It is intended to make the great majority of abortions unobtainable. The effort might sound like a fool’s errand. For nearly half a century, the Supreme Court has recognized a woman’s right to abortion at any time before her fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, about 24 weeks. But the legislature came up with a plan to make an unconstitutional law exempt from constitutional challenge. The key to it is that unlike most laws, this one may not be enforced by state or local officials. That task is delegated for any mope on the street, who may sue any provider violating the ban and collect a minimum of $10,000, plus attorneys’ fees. Lawsuits may also be filed against those who “aid and abet” an abortion — say, a friend who drives a woman to an appointment. By removing itself from policing the law, the state figured, it would […]

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