The Nation justice correspondent Elie Mystal on Friday urged President Joe Biden to create a “federal force” to provide free abortions in Texas to combat the state’s new abortion law.
Mystal argued on CNN’s “New Day” that the federal force would serve as a “workaround” the Texas law.
“Now, as many people have figured out, Texas’ law is quirky, and the quirk is its kind of depraved bounty system which takes the enforcement power of their abortion ban away from the state, so, like, Greg Abbott or Ken Paxton or whoever isn’t out there enforcing the law, and puts it in the hands of private citizens,” Mystal outlined. “Anybody living in the country can sue anybody in Texas for providing or aiding or abetting abortion services, and if they win that lawsuit, they get $10,000. That is a private civil action.”
“That’s the only enforcement mechanism for the Texas law,” he continued. “Well, that can cut both ways. And if Democrats are willing to get creative about it, and if Joe Biden is willing to do everything necessary to protect women in Texas, well, guess who has qualified immunity from civil lawsuits? Federal employees. So what Biden needs to do is, via executive order, create a federal force of doctors protected, clothed in the protection of the state, which would protect them through qualified immunity from private civil actions. Send them to Texas to counsel and protect women’s privacy rights, and if they want to provide some medical procedures in the course of protecting people’s constitutional rights, they can do that as well.”
“The Hyde Amendment says … the government cannot use money to pay for abortions,” Mystal added. “So … Congress could just not reauthorize that. That’s a thing. The Hyde Amendment is reviled, at least on the left side of the aisle. But even if Congress reauthorizes the Hyde Amendment, the workaround for that is that you have to make the abortions free. Abortions, I could argue, should already be free. They’re extremely expensive, and that hurts poor women — preventing them from accessing their rights. So, you could make abortions free, and you could privately fund the doctors. That’s a trick I learned from watching Republicans.”
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