Reddit banned a community that sought to collect “bounties” on people seeking abortions in Texas.
r/TXBountyHunters started on Sept. 2, the day after TX SB8, a law which bans abortions as early as six weeks after conception, went into effect. The law allows citizens to sue anyone who helped them get access to an abortion—including rideshare drivers who took them to the appointment, clinic workers, and doctors—anyone who “aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion,” according to the law. Someone who sues can be rewarded with a $10,000 bounty, plus attorney fees. Anti-abortion groups have set up anonymous reporting websites for people to snitch on others in their community who need abortions.
The r/TXBountyHunters community was “dedicated to sharing tips on identifying, reporting, and collecting bounty on those breaking Texas law TX SB8,” according to its description, and had 68 members.
“As a bounty hunter, would it be unethical to collect bounty on a perp that I impregnated?,” one member wrote, as spotted by healthcare advocate Kendall Brown.
Do you know about other online communities that are organizing as “bounty hunters” after SB8? We’d love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or use encrypted email: email@example.com
Reddit banned the community on the same day it was founded, citing the platform’s rules against harassment.
On Reddit, snitches called themselves “bounty hunters,” and sought out ways to make money off of other people’s vulnerability under the law.
“She has asked me to give her a ride to the clinic on the day of the procedure because she does not want anyone else to get word of this, and I agreed to. Would it be unethical by bounty hunting standards if I were to haul her from the clinic directly to the county sheriff?,” the user said.
The Texas law undercuts Roe V. Wade, a decision that made abortion legal for everyone in the US, and makes it impossible to get an abortion before most people even know they’re pregnant.
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