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Anti-Abortion Texas Lawmakers Threaten a Major Law Firm’s Attorneys With Criminal Charges and Disbarment for Facilitating Abortions

The Texas State Legislature has threatened Sidley Austin, one of the nation’s most prominent law firms, with criminal prosecution and disbarment if it helps facilitate abortions.

According to the letter submitted to the firm’s management committee chair, Texas Freedom Caucus learned that Sidley Austin is “reimbursing travel costs of employees who leave Texas to murder their unborn children.” The firm is also accused of participating in illegal abortions.

Rep. Mayes Middleton, the Caucus Chair, warned Sidley Austin that abortion was a felony unless the mother’s life was at risk. Middleton notes the law covers “drug-induced abortions if any part of the drug regimen is ingested in Texas, even if the drugs were dispensed by an out-of-state abortionist.”

If Sidley Austin violates the law, Middleton threatens to prosecute and disbar the firm and its partners.

The letter claims that Sidley “may have aided or abetted drug-induced abortions in violation of the Texas Heartbeat Act by paying for abortions (or abortion-related travel) in which the patient ingested the second drug in Texas after receiving the drugs from an out-of-state provider.”

The letter says that legal action is being taken to identify the attorneys responsible for this. The Texas Heartbeat Act was enacted on September 1, 2021, and the letter orders Sidley to save all records about any attorney who essentially assisted any woman in getting an abortion after that date.

The letter continues by warning the law firm and its 2,000 lawyers that new legislation will be introduced during the next legislative session of the Texas State Legislature that will specifically target firms that pay for abortions.

As part of the legislation, private citizens will also be able to sue anyone who pays for an elective abortion performed on a Texas resident, whether they pay directly or reimburse. Furthermore, a $10,000 bounty will incentivize citizens to bring these lawsuits.

Any lawyer who violates the anti-abortion law can be disbarred by the Texas State Bar. If the Bar refuses to act, the public can sue it and get a judge to order the Bar to disbar the lawyer.

The proposed legislation would give any D.A. in the State the right to prosecute even outside their jurisdiction should there be any D.A.’s who refuse to enforce the law.


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