August 9, 2022

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Texas Republicans warn Dallas law firm that paying for abortion travel could be illegal

A team of conservative Texas lawmakers is putting Dallas law business Sidley Austin “on notice,” doubling down on GOP-led proposals to bar companies from spending for employees to travel to other states for abortions.

Rep. Mayes Middleton, chairman of the Texas Independence Caucus, sent a letter to the head of Sidley Austin’s management committee, arguing that the business is violating Texas regulation by reimbursing staff members for journey prices to depart the condition to receive an abortion.

The Republican from Wallisville, east of Houston, says in the letter that the firm’s steps are illegal less than statutes enacted in 1925. The Texas Supreme Courtroom dominated very last week that these statutes could be civilly enforced from abortion suppliers right after the U.S. Supreme Court’s determination to overturn Roe vs. Wade final thirty day period.

Sidley Austin’s general public relations director, Matt Messinger, did not react to requests for remark. The Chicago-based mostly firm has workplaces throughout the globe and employs additional than 100 attorneys in Dallas.

The letter describes costs the Liberty Caucus, a group of the state’s most conservative lawmakers, designs to introduce during the 2023 legislative session to bar businesses from funding abortion-connected vacation charges.

According to the letter, the legislation would:

  • Prohibit any Texas employer from having to pay for elective abortions or reimbursing employees’ journey fees
  • Allow for private citizens to sue any person suspected of spending for an abortion
  • Require the state bar to disbar lawyers who violate any abortion-related rules
  • Empower any district attorney to prosecute abortion-similar offenses in spots where the local district lawyer chooses not to prosecute them

Numerous district lawyers in Texas, which includes Dallas County’s John Creuzot, have said they will not prosecute abortion vendors.

The letter is comparable to a single Rep. Briscoe Cain, a Liberty Caucus member from Deer Park, and 13 other Republicans sent experience-share enterprise Lyft in May well.

The San Francisco-dependent corporation reported it would create a system to go over the cost of rides for Oklahoma or Texas people touring to other states for abortion. The enterprise has also pledged to address authorized fees for drivers sued for transporting a person to an abortion and charges for workforce who will need to vacation additional than 100 miles to an in-network abortion company.

Texas Lawyer Common Ken Paxton has signaled desire in working with present point out legislation to impose $100,000 fines on providers that reimburse employees who journey for abortions.

Various other firms with workplaces in the Dallas place have mentioned they will present staff members aid to vacation to other states for abortions, like JP Morgan Chase & Co, Match Group and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Other significant corporations, including Amazon and Starbucks, also program to deliver staff members vacation guidance for abortions.

Companies choosing to make these rewards available are grappling with lawful questions — in states that ban almost all abortions, including Texas, they could be held liable for aiding and abetting abortions.

Dallas attorney Rogge Dunn claimed there’s practically nothing that would reduce the Legislature from earning it a criminal offense to pay out for an abortion in a further point out.

Next the Supreme Court’s determination to overturn Roe vs. Wade, just about all abortions are illegal in nine states. Various other states have bans that are getting challenged in courtroom, or will take influence before long.