‘Bounty Hunters’ Were Using An Online Forum To Track Down People Assisting Abortions In Texas
A Reddit forum has been shut down after self-proclaimed ‘bounty hunters’ used it to share tips on how to report and identify those who break a Texas law banning abortions.
The law allows civilians to sue anyone they believe is providing an abortion or assisting someone in getting an abortion after this time and even offers a bounty for doing so, with those who bring forth a lawsuit rewarded with $10,000 plus attorney fees.
In the wake of the introduction of the law, anti-abortionists started a Reddit thread titled r/TXBountyHunters, which was dedicated to ‘sharing tips on identifying, reporting, and collecting bounty on those breaking Texas law TX SB8’, Vice reports.
One of the group’s 68 members shared a post asking their fellow ‘bounty hunters’ whether it would be ‘unethical to collect bounty on a perp that I impregnated?’ – a question slammed by healthcare advocate Kendall Brown.
The post continued:
Several weeks ago I was having a beer and shooting pool at the local watering hole and got chatting with a pretty waitress. One thing lead [sic] to another and by the time the sun came up we had become sinners in the eyes of the good lord […]
A few weeks later she got in touch with me to tell me we had conceived and brought life to the world. But […] she told me that it was her wish to terminate the pregnancy […]
Would it be unethical by bounty hunting standards if I were to haul her from the clinic directly to the county sheriff?
Sharing the post, Brown wrote: ‘Day one of Texas’s new abortion law and men are already strategizing on Reddit about how to turn in women they impregnated to earn the $10k bounty. Who could have seen this coming? (Everyone. The answer is everyone.)’
Another post, cited by Insider, saw one member claim the law opened up a ‘brand new arena of revenue’ to private citizens, adding: ‘We are here to capitalize on that.’
Reddit quickly put a stop to the sharing of ‘tips’ and banned the community on the same day it was founded, citing the platform’s rules against harassment, though it is not the only place where anti-abortionists are turning to share information.
Anonymous reporting websites have also been set up by anti-abortion groups for those looking to turn in the people in their community who have that those wanting abortions, with Texas Right to Life launching a site last month which asked ‘pro-life whistleblowers’ to submit tips.
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