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SIU Professor on what new Texas abortion law could mean for future laws

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EAST PEORIA (WEEK) -- A new Texas law bans abortions after six weeks, and a law professor at Southern Illinois University says the way the law is written could open the door for new restrictions on other hot-button issues.

What is different about this new Texas law is the ban is enforced not by local governments, but by private citizens filing lawsuits. Under the law, anyone can sue anyone perceived to be helping people obtain illegal abortions. Professor Cindy Buys said the law, if upheld, by the Supreme Court, could open the door to other states having citizens file lawsuits over things like restricting gun ownership, if a state were to outlaw it.

"So it is almost a 'careful what you wish for', when you push the envelope, it certainly can have consequences on lots of other issues," said Buys.

However, Buys has the position that the law is weak, and would likely be struck down by a federal court or the Supreme Court.

"You potentially have people bringing suits that don't have any personal stake in it, and that can violate the constitutional requirement of personal injury, that case or controversy requirement under the constitution," she added.

For it to be struck down, someone would have to attempt to enforce the new law, and then the person facing enforcement would have to sue them back, challenging the constitutionality. So far. the high court has refused to step in, waiting for that enforcement to take place.

Andy Weber

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