Since its passing last week, the new anti-abortion law in Texas that bans women from receiving an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy (well before most women know they’re pregnant) has received major pushback from both local citizens and national government. While the restrictive nature of the law is a major concern on its own, a secondary element has been sparking additional debates and concerns; the law allows any private citizen to file a civil suit against any woman who receives an abortion, any medical professional who administers an abortion, and anyone who assists the woman in obtaining the abortion, such as an Uber driver taking her to the hospital.
This concerning legal clause has given rise to a small community of “bounty hunters,” Texan citizens who are deliberately seeking out women they suspect of seeking abortion and suing them for profit. The same day the law was passed, a new subreddit was created titled r/TXBountyHunters, which according to its description sourced by Vice, was “dedicated to sharing tips on identifying, reporting, and collecting bounty on those breaking Texas law TX SB8.”
Yesterday, Reddit officially banned this subreddit from their site. If the r/TXBountyHunters is accessed, you’ll only see a message saying that the group was banned for site policy violations regarding harassing content. Reddit has declined to comment on the matter further.
Reddit banned a community that sought to collect “bounties” on people seeking abortions in Texas. https://t.co/yADzVYSKp8
— VICE (@VICE) September 7, 2021
Other notable platform providers have been making similar recent moves. Anti-abortion activist group Texas Right to Life originally created a tip site through GoDaddy hosting where anonymous tips about women receiving abortions could be submitted. GoDaddy axed the site from their servers last week, prompting them to relocate to Epik hosting, though they were removed from there as well on Monday. As of writing, the site has not been hosted elsewhere.