Texas Right to Life sets up site asking for anonymous tips on people who get or offer abortions

click to enlarge Abortion advocates have successfully sued to block so-called "heartbeat" bills in other states. - Shutterstock
Abortion advocates have successfully sued to block so-called "heartbeat" bills in other states.

With the Lone Star State's "heartbeat" abortion law poised to take effect September 1, the group Texas Right to Life has set up a website urging people to anonymously turn in alleged violators.

The group's prolifewhistleblower.com site includes an anonymous form to report people who purportedly breach the controversial measure, considered one of the country's most restrictive anti-abortion laws.

The law limits legal access to abortions to two weeks after a missed menstrual cycle, a time when many women don't yet know they're pregnant. What's more, it lets private citizens sue abortion providers and others who help a woman obtain an abortion after six weeks.

"If you want to help enforce the Texas Heartbeat Act anonymously, or have a tip on how you think the law has been violated, fill out the form below," Texas Right to Life's anonymous tip page states. "We will not follow up with or contact you."

The form also allows tipsters to share “attachments of evidence” of the violation and to check a box to indicate whether they're "currently elected to public office."

Texas Right to Life didn't respond to the Current's request for comment on the site.

More than 20 abortion providers have sued Texas' Republican leadership to stop the law from going into effect. The suit, filed last month in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, argues that the measure lets anti-abortion activists hijack the courts to interfere with women's health decisions.

Other states have passed similar “heartbeat” bills, which have been blocked by the courts. None have so far taken effect.

As Texas waits for the fate of the law to play out in court, Texas Right to Life's tip site has already attracted the interest of online activists who recommended that people concerned about reproductive rights share fake names to disrupt the data collection.

Some chimed in with hints on how to avoid getting fake responses pitched out.

Yet another Twitter user announced plans to spend time spamming the tip site "with goatse and furry porn."

If you don't know what goatse is, please do not look it up on your work computer, and exercise extreme caution if you decide to do so on your personal machine.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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