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Question of the day: “The TExAS Act”

Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021

* Press release…

Today, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, filed HB 4146, the TExAS Act (The Expanding Abortion Services Act). The TExAS Act seeks to affirm the steps Illinois has taken to ensure that our state remains a place where the full range of reproductive health services are available and accessible to all people, including those forced to travel out of state from jurisdictions seeking to restrict access to abortion and other reproductive health care.

Then bill creates a civil right of action enabling any person to bring a civil action against a person who commits an act of domestic violence or sexual assault, as well as anyone who causes an unintended pregnancy or any person who enables those acts. It establishes a minimum $10,000 civil award to the person bringing the action with $5,000 of that fine going into a newly created state fund to ensure that people who are forced to flee their home states to seek reproductive health care have the ability to pay for that care here in Illinois.

“When the Texas legislature, aided by the United States Supreme Court, declared open season on people seeking reproductive health care, it was very clear to me that our state is in a unique position to reach out our hands and offer people from Texas and other states who seek to restrict reproductive rights a safe haven,” said Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who was chief sponsor of the Reproductive Health Act establishing the fundamental right to reproductive health care in Illinois in 2019.

If enacted, the fund would be managed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and would be used to provide financial aid to women who may come to Illinois to seek reproductive health care in a safe and accessible way. The person found responsible for causing an unintended pregnancy, or a person committing an act of domestic violence or sexual assault, or someone who enabled those actions would be responsible for paying the damages.

“The measure in Texas is just one piece of the radical attempt to dismantle reproductive rights and access to reproductive health care across the nation. I’m proud to come from a state that will uphold the fundamental right for a woman to make the best decision for her own health,” said Cassidy. “When the legislature codified into the law the Reproductive Healthcare Act, we have ensured that the right to choose will remain in Illinois, no matter what may happen with Roe v. Wade, or what other states may do in creating irresponsible and dangerous policies like Texas.”

* The Question: Do you support the state creating a “civil right of action enabling any person to bring a civil action against a person who commits an act of domestic violence or sexual assault, as well as anyone who causes an unintended pregnancy or any person who enables those acts”? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…


polls

…Adding… Hannah Meisel

House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) spokeswoman Jaclyn Driscoll said it’s up to Cassidy to request a hearing on the bill, but “the speaker certainly wouldn’t stand in the way of one.” Welch has also pushed for reproductive rights in his time in office.

At an event in Aurora Tuesday morning, Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO appeared with Gov. JB Pritzker and three Democratic members of Congress to promote legislation seeking to enshrine abortion rights in federal law. Welch said Planned Parenthood facilities in Illinois have already seen an uptick in people traveling across state lines to get abortions in Illinois.

“It only took two days after [the Texas law] was enacted for us to see Texas patients here in Illinois, despite those long distances they had to travel,” Welch said. “We expect those numbers to significantly increase when these dangerous laws continue.”

Cassidy said she’s heard the same anecdotally from abortion providers, and recalled doubt from colleagues and others when she sponsored the Reproductive Health Act in 2019, saying she was told it was hyperbolic to predict Roe v. Wade would be overturned.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments »
  1. - NotRich - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 3:53 pm:

    This is as much of an over reach as the Texas pro life bill.. publicity stunt


  2. - Homebody - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 3:53 pm:

    My poll answer: “No of course not, but this is (or should be) purely performative politicking, so who cares?”

    I can’t imagine someone legitimately passing a law that creates a fine for someone who “causes an unintended pregnancy.” Suddenly a drunk one night stand could come with a $10k fine and litigation costs.


  3. - Nick - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 3:55 pm:

    “as well as anyone who causes an unintended pregnancy”

    Seems incredibly vague to me.

    But overall, no. The Texas law is in part bad because instead of law enforcement it puts it in the hands of private citizens, and we should not follow that up with the opposite.


  4. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 3:56 pm:

    Never miss an opportunity to virtue signal on something that has absolutely no chance of happening here or even surviving court challenges in Texas

    Madigan organization hardest hit


  5. - Roman - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 3:56 pm:

    I get the desire to fight fire with fire, but this really undermines the best argument against the Texas law. A private right of action in civil court should not be created for “any person” — that right should only exist for someone who is actual harmed. Turning the civil court system over to bounty hunters is a bad idea, no matter the cause.


  6. - phocion - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:02 pm:

    Didn’t like the concept of privatizing enforcement when it came from Texas. Don’t like it here in Illinois, either.


  7. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:02 pm:

    Absolutely not. This civil right of action nonsense is extremely dangerous for democracy and society.


  8. - Fixer - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:07 pm:

    It’s a terrible law in Texas, and trying to pass a similar type of law here is also terrible.


  9. - Bourbon Street - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    Voted “No”. As much as I am dismayed about what is happening in Texas, the language of this proposed legislation is way too vague and the statute is way too expansive in terms of granting rights to “any person”—the concept of standing to sue is completely lost under the language of this bill. The civil courts are no place for political theater.


  10. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    ===Suddenly a drunk one night stand could come with a $10k fine and litigation costs. ===

    Men should be responsible and take every measure to insure that their chosen means of contraception does not fail. Decisions like removing a condom during sex can have consequences that could result in a pregnancy that would incur costs to the woman if they choose to terminate it, including lost wages, medical costs, and so forth.

    This seems like an appropriate means to redress the irresponsible men who run around causing unintended pregnancies because they cannot control themselves and exercise better judgement.


  11. - Actual Red - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:12 pm:

    It seems pretty clear to me that this is a stunt. I agree with the sentiment behind it, but I don’t think this would be a good law as written - the unintended pregnancy part seems like it would allow any person to sue both parents. To the extent the wording of this bill is intended to call attention to the problems with the Texas bill, I guess I support what Cassidy is doing though I’m skeptical of its effectiveness.


  12. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:13 pm:

    A civil suit could be filed against anyone who causes an unintended pregnancy?

    Guess I could sue my parents for having told me they had me without trying to get pregnant at the time?

    Legislation by trolling is never good.

    Citizen suits have their place. They can be great in the environmental law context for example.

    But this stuff is gross.


  13. - Been There - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:14 pm:

    I voted yes. But you can pretty much sue anyone for anything so I doubt it is needed anyway. If it strengthens victims rights it would be hard to be against. But I am not an attorney (I just play one while on the rail).


  14. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:16 pm:

    To Homebody –
    “Suddenly a drunk one night stand could come with a $10k fine and litigation costs.”

    You don’t have to imagine it, because it was already done in Texas. Except the burden falls on women.


  15. - Stix Hix - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:16 pm:

    It’s a stunt. Makes me think of “swatting”.


  16. - JoanP - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:17 pm:

    I voted “no”. Just because Texas did something outrageous doesn’t mean Illinois should, too.


  17. - Chito - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:17 pm:

    I voted yes. I know too many victims of DV/assault that were too afraid of or dependent on their abuser to ever file a charge. I’d love to drop a dime on them!


  18. - City Zen - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:21 pm:

    ==minimum $10,000 civil award to the person bringing the action with $5,000 of that fine going into a newly created state fund==

    In other words, a minimum $5,000 civil award.


  19. - very old soil - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:21 pm:

    Perhaps it is intended to remind us of the policy of mutually assured destruction.


  20. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:22 pm:

    The original Texas law is bad law. This is also bad law.
    I am not a lawyer, but I didn’t stay in a holiday inn last night. So follow my legal advice at your own peril.


  21. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:28 pm:

    No, this is as bad as Texas. No one should have standing to sue anyone without suffering harm or damages from the defendant’s acts or omissions.


  22. - Southern Skeptic - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:29 pm:

    I think some folks are missing the point. This isn’t about drafting language so it can become law. It’s about highlighting the absurdity of Texas and focusing attention on reproductive rights. By that measure it clearly hits the mark.


  23. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:42 pm:

    Voted no, but I strongly support the filing of this bill and also hope for other variations on the theme.

    While that may seem contradictory, I think this bill is important in the larger scheme of legislation in other states and upcoming court challenges. Folks hoping SCOTUS upholds the Texas bill (and wanting to pass similar bills) need to be shown how that bill’s unusual structure can be used in other ways. The Texas law is bad, this would be bad (if passed), and the same goes for similar bills/laws.


  24. - ;) - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:44 pm:

    Crazy bill.


  25. - Nick - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:49 pm:

    I don’t think its missing the point.

    The texas law is a serious situation. I think the way to highlight that is not to file your own dummy legislation.


  26. - Been There - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:51 pm:

    Actually I miss read it. I didn’t realize anyone could sue. I was wondering why there was so much outrage. I change my vote to no.


  27. - Amalia - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 4:57 pm:

    No. But lolololol. freaking Texas, y’all should understand what you did and this points that out.


  28. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 5:11 pm:

    How about a COVID Act… private individuals can sue others for $10,000 if they caused another person to get the virus /s


  29. - Alice - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 5:12 pm:

    Woman’s vote here. So: YES.

    This is no longer outrageous or stupid. The situation changed.

    I’d like for some of the incest loving vigilantes to pay money for what they are doing. Preferably to their victims.

    And the fact that we are in IL and not in TX doesn’t mean the incest loving vigilantes don’t exist or indeed exist here in so few numbers it doesn’t matter. They run for offices every election. Some win and feel obligated to insult women, blacks, immigrants all the time while everyone turns away. Enough.

    Time to do something about it. We have legislation. Let’s pass outrageous laws and see how far we can go to restrict the self-righteous morons. Somehow they need to crawl back under the stones where they belong. They will not do it on their own.

    And if we fail, at least we’ll get to hear the “intellectuals of SCOTUS” respond to the lawsuits. Let them show us their “wits.”


  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 5:14 pm:

    === How about a COVID Act… private individuals can sue others for $10,000 if they caused another person to get the virus /s-===

    Did you miss the “Trump Rally Waivers”?

    It was a “thing”

    Voted No


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 5:16 pm:

    Voted No… if it’s intent is a point, then I can’t get behind that


  32. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 5:36 pm:

    The Texas law has a minimum of a $10,000 penalty for providing an abortion. A Texas judge will go over that minimum and give an absurd penalty to an abortion provider, think millions of dollars. I am not sure if that civil penalty can ever be discharged in bankruptcy. You can basically take away someone’s ability to live any sort of life because you don’t agree with them. It’s proscription. The notion is very dangerous and no one should legitimize it.


  33. - Old Illini - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 5:54 pm:

    I voted yes for the first part, but do not support the second part.


  34. - Benjamin - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 7:17 pm:

    No, and that’s the idea of this proposal–to point out how ridiculous and unconstitutional that law is. This bill doesn’t need to be considered; Cassidy has already made her point.


  35. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 7:51 pm:

    As written above, couldn’t this apply to women? In some cases, might a woman have caused or enabled an unintended pregnancy?


  36. - Jibba - Tuesday, Sep 14, 21 @ 9:37 pm:

    ===that their chosen means of contraception does not fail.===

    No such thing exists.


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