Texas lawmaker proposes blocking abortion websites

Daily Caller News Foundation

A new bill in Texas filed on Feb. 23 by state Rep. Steve Toth would force internet service providers (ISPs) within the state to restrict websites that contain information about accessing abortion, as well as make it a crime to host websites that assist people in accessing abortion.

The bill would block the ability to obtain abortion drugs online and the bill specifically lists six websites that would need to be banned: aidaccess.orgheyjane.coplancpills.orgmychoix.cojustthepill.com, and carafem.org. These websites all have “information or material intended to assist or facilitate efforts to obtain an elective abortion or an abortion-inducing drug,” which is the content the bill states ISPs must block.

The bill would rely on individuals to discover and report violations to ISPs to ask them to block the websites or information. It also leans on allowing citizens to bring civil lawsuits against services that break this law.

This is not the first bill of its kind, as South Carolina lawmakers introduced one that has some similar language, focused more broadly about restricting abortion rather than specifically focusing on the internet.

A clause in the bill states that it does not prohibit speech or conduct protected by the First Amendment, though the bill has raised free speech concerns.

Following the Texas Heartbeat Act, multiple tech companies removed pro-life websites and funded out-of-state abortions, though that was imposed by private companies rather than the government.

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