Even after passing Senate Bill 8, anti-abortion activists are still yearning to take their extremism to a new level by targeting abortion funds in Texas. Now, two abortion funds in Texas have filed their own lawsuits as a legal counter.
Last week, the Lilith Fund and Texas Equal Access Fund announced that they had filed a series of lawsuits against two rightwing organizations and two private citizens. The two organizations they are suing are the Thomas More Society and the America First Legal Foundation (AFLF), which was started by several members of the Trump Administration including Stephen Miller and Mark Meadows.
Earlier this year, lawyers with AFLF filed investigatory depositions against two employees of the Lilith Fund and TEA Fund arguing that they had helped individuals obtain abortions when SB 8 had a temporary injunction. In the suit against AFLF, lawyers working on behalf of the abortion funds argued that they were facing, “imminent and existential threats to the fundamental and constitutional rights of plaintiffs, their staff, their volunteers and their donors.”
SB 8 is not just an abortion ban, it’s also a law based on citizen vigilantism and bounties. It allows virtually anyone to file a lawsuit against an abortion provider or any person they believe aided or abetted an abortion.
“We are yet again being forced to protect the work we do and show up for Texans who need abortions and the people who love them,” said Amanda Beatriz Williams, the executive director of Lilith Fund, in a statement. “We won’t be harassed or intimidated out of serving our community, in the courts or anywhere else.”
This new legal action also comes as Republicans in the Texas state legislature threaten to pass new legislation targeting abortion funds. On Twitter, Republican state Rep. Briscoe Cain called abortion funds “criminal organizations” and promised action in the next session.
Cain’s fellow colleague Republican state Rep. Matt Schaefer also commented on Twitter that anybody who donates to an abortion fund like TEA Fund can be sued under SB 8. However, several commenters replied with their own donations to TEA Fund and other abortion funds in honor of Schaefer.