A Bounty Hunter Free-for-All

Lafe Tolliver

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
Guest Column

The State of Texas recently passed a draconian law that prohibits abortions from the time of six weeks and onwards. The only exceptions are medical emergencies. Incest and rape are not included in the exceptions.

What is novel about this law is that the Texas legislature, in order to circumvent the fact that the state is a sponsored actor in the implementation of this law, passed off the enforcement of this law to its citizens.

What is about to be spawned in Texas is a new wild west in which any person can self

deputize themselves and seek out those “lawbreakers” who assist a woman in getting an abortion.

Yes, you read it correctly. Now, in the Lone Star State, any person, without a license or

a badge or any training, can take upon themselves the duties of an “abortion bounty hunter.”

That person can, without legal restraint, set him or herself up as a posse of one and undertake acts that will root out anyone who aids or abets a woman in the procurement of an abortion.

By the way, there is a “bounty” of up to $10,000 if your investigative acts result in a conviction of a person or persons who engaged in aiding or abetting a woman getting an abortion in Texas.

So, if you are a man or a woman who wants to engage in possibly lucrative part-time work, you can gear up and start an enterprise in which you ferret out people, organizations, doctors or anyone for that matter, that aided or abetted a woman in getting an abortion.

The Republican dominated legislature in Texas has given the green light to let anyone

“cowboy up” and go a-hunting for any suspicious activity that could result in a civil conviction for anyone who assisted a woman in getting an abortion.

Through some nifty Google searching, I was able to get in contact with a quickly formed abortion bounty hunting group out of Dallas weirdly called, “Knees Up!”

The director, a disgraced former FBI agent, named Kirby Ellis, consented to the below telephonic interview regarding how he plans to engage in both overt and covert operations in the State of Texas to catch these malefactors.

Me: Mr. Ellis, exactly what is your plan to have this law enforced by private citizens such as yourself?

Ellis: It is quite simple. I have three proven techniques that I learned from the early

Fugitive Slave Laws that were in operation in the South when private citizens were able to locate and capture runaway slaves; and they received a sizable financial reward for their efforts.

One, you must see every woman from the age of 14 years to 50 years as being a possible abortion seeker. Two, Video record every possible meeting that you see a pregnant woman have with any third party. Everyone is a suspect! And three, wait until they enter a

women’s health clinic; and when they do…BAM! Break into the front door with cameras blazing

and issue a citizen’s arrest for everyone there.

Me: That sounds like a dragnet in which innocent people are accused of criminal activity without a chance to clear their name or their supposedly “criminal” conduct.

Ellis:  Doesn’t matter to me. Let the law sort it out in court. My job is to get names and

addresses, file the lawsuits and let the fur fly!

Me: What other tactics are you using to enforce this law?

Ellis:  My favorite one is to use informants on social media. There is a cache of valuable information on these sites. People love to blab about what they are doing and what others told them about what others are doing.

Another gem to use is to use ads that direct desperate women to call my office and we

tell them that we are sympathetic to their situation and want to help and we will provide coverage for them to go to their doctor or clinic for an abortion. This works every time.

Me: So, you are telling me that you use blatant subterfuge to trick women into exposing others to your trap for this bounty money?

Ellis: Hey, I ain’t no saint but ten thousand dollars is ten thousand dollars!

Me: How can you cover the State of Texas and be all eyes and ears to make this scheme work?

Ellis: That is the easy part. I pay informants for information for what they are hearing and

if it pans out, they get a generous finder’s fee.

Me: Do you know how eerily similar your tactics are to former slave holders trying to

re enslave their runaways? They used the same methods!

Ellis: Ain’t history a great teacher!

Me: What happens if you go to court and lose? Aren’t you worried about being slammed by opposing counsel for the fees and costs incurred to defend their clients?

Ellis: That is one of the beauties of this law. The Republicans said that any good faith efforts to undertake this work will not result in any civil or criminal repercussions against those who

file these lawsuits.

Me: So, you get blanket immunity for filing these lawsuits, even if they fail?

Ellis: Yep! How sweet is that!

Me: You probably know that other states will copy the example of Texas and attempt to pass similar laws. What then?

Ellis: That’s a no brainer. I plan to franchise my concept nationwide and have training classes here in Dallas. I placed a small ad in a national newspaper and already got over three

hundred applicants and each will pay me $20,000 for the franchise and a

two percent royalty on each case that they win.

Me: Have you no shame! You are profiting from the misery of desperate women!

Ellis: Excuse me, but I got three lines on hold. Gotta go. CLICK!


Contact Lafe Tolliver at tolliver@juno.com