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The Texas Abortion Ban Explained, From the Man Who Wrote the Law

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Bryan Hughes is a State Senator representing 16 counties of East Texas. Hughes was one of the authors of Senate Bill 8 (SB8), the “heartbeat” law restricting abortion that took effect in the state last month. 

Hughes and I spoke shortly before news broke that the Supreme Court will hear a challenge against SB8 on November 1st.  

With so many questions about the law circulating across the country, I hope this slightly edited interview will provide insight straight from the source. 

Many women across the country are scared and claim it [SB8] is an attack on their constitutional rights. What is your response to that?

Hughes: This law is about protecting innocent life. That little baby growing inside her mother’s womb—we believe that that’s a living human being worthy of protection.

When we passed the heartbeat bill, we also increased funding for the alternatives to abortion programs. This doesn’t get much attention. But we’re spending $100 million now in our program to help mothers in those difficult situations. If a mother decides to keep the child, there’s baby formula, parenting classes, diapers, car seats, social services, job placement, and encouragement. And if they decide to put the child up for adoption, there’s help there as well. Last year, over 100,000 expectant mothers and adoptive parents were helped by this program. 

The Texas Attorney General said just yesterday in a filing with federal court “the idea that the Constitution requires states to permit a woman to abort her unborn child is unsupported by any constitutional texts history or tradition.” 

Is the law intended to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Hughes: The law is intended to protect innocent human life. If it has the effect of overturning Roe v. Wade, that’s wonderful. That was not our intent in passing this bill. But if this bill is the vehicle by which the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade we’d love to see that.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

SB8 does not grant exceptions for cases of rape or incest. How did you and other lawmakers decide to make that decision to leave out those exemptions even for disturbing cases where women may be the victim of a crime?

Hughes: First of all, we made sure that the woman’s life and the woman’s health are protected. So if the mother’s life’s in danger, of course that’s an exception. 

We have spoken with a number of rape victims. We’ve spoken with adults who tell us they were conceived in rape. And what we’ve learned is that as horrible as a rape is and as difficult as that will be for a woman to deal with, we wouldn’t want to make it worse by taking the life of the unborn child. 

We’re going to punish that rapist. We’re going to punish them aggressively. 

We’re not going to punish the unborn child. 

SB8 holds citizens accountable to enforce the law by suing abortion providers or those who help. Why was the law designed that way? Was it in fact, to make it stickier from a legal perspective? 

Hughes: This idea goes back to the English common law. The concept is called qui tam and it says that private citizens can bring suit on behalf of the public good. They’re incentivized to do that. 

In federal law, we have what’s called the False Claims Act. If you as a citizen realized that someone’s defrauding the federal government, you file a civil suit against them. If you prevail, and prove your case, you’re rewarded for that. Every state has consumer protection laws with this concept. So it’s nothing new. 

Texas Gov Greg Abbott, right and State Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, pose for photos after Abbott signed a bill into law. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Why do we do it here? In this case, it also had the effect of making it hard for a court to stop the law because, normally, when you want to block a law, you sue the government agent who enforces the law— the governor, the Attorney General, some agency person. 

In this case, any person can bring a suit, so it was more difficult for them to block the law. But the intent was to have the law take effect. If the DAs won’t do it, then the people of Texas will do it themselves.

What is a message you have for those who disagree with you on the topic of abortion, who believe it should be a woman’s right to choose with her doctor without the government?

Hughes: The left tells us we have to make a choice, there’s a dichotomy. They want to put the mother and the child at odds against each other. But we believe in Texas that little unborn baby is a human being worthy of protection. So our goal is to protect that little baby’s life, while we love and support and help that mother. 

If the law is ultimately struck down, would you try to pass another bill into law that might face scrutiny?

Hughes: Yes. Roe v. Wade, we believe, is an illegitimate opinion. It’s bad science, bad law. 

Since 1973, look at how much technology has changed. Now with sonograms, we can look inside, and we can see that little baby developing. You look at that sonogram and you know, in your heart, that’s a little baby. 

Technology tells us that those babies can live earlier and earlier even outside the womb. 

No matter what happens on the Texas heartbeat law, SB8, states will continue to pass pro-life laws. Texas will continue to push to protect innocent human life. This fight is not over.

Lauren LaBruna is a reporter and host for Erupt News based in Los Angeles covering breaking news, politics, current events, and health.

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Why No One Is Truly Opposed to Dumb COVID Rules

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A staffer holds up a sign to advise fans of the mandatory mask rule in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Tennessee and Colorado Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Animals,

Let’s face it. We all work in customer service. If you sell car insurance, you better be ready to provide speedy payment to your clients when a tree falls onto their Prius.

And if you’re a doctor who wants to keep his patients, you’d better treat them with respect. That means short waiting room times and pretending that their questions (“Does this rash mean I have cancer”) aren’t as crazy as they sound.

Then there are professionals in 100% service-based industries like marketing, law, and — GASP – government. For them, customer service is arguably the most important part of the job.

In these industries, clients don’t really understand what you do for them, so appearing to be responsive, empathetic, and on-top of things is half the job.

Which brings us to Joe Biden’s COVID speech on Thursday, where he laid out his “Winter Plan” to stop COVID’s seasonal spike that happens whenever the weather gets cold.

President Biden speaks at the National Institutes of Health, Dec. 2, 2021, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Lurking in the background of Biden’s speech was the omicron variant, which some experts fear will bring new dangers to our shores.

The president proposed several interventions to dampen omicron and COVID’s winter spike, but if we’re being honest, his speech was really just a customer service exercise. It was President Joe Biden attempting to convince his clients – voters – that he’s responsive, empathetic, and on top of things.

As The Washington Post reported: “The president’s plan includes campaigns to increase vaccinations and booster shots, more stringent testing for international travelers and plans to make rapid at-home coronavirus testing free for more people.”

So basically… more of the same, plus an annoying COVID test if you travel internationally.

That doesn’t sound like much news at all.

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

By now, we know that COVID policies like mandatory masking and compulsory testing aren’t going to deliver great results, especially in an increasingly vaccinated America. Deep down, most of us probably agree that these policies are more about creating the appearance that our leaders are on top of things than actually yielding compelling public health benefits.

But is there another way for Joe Biden? Should he just sit in the White House and do nothing, as his critics in the Republican Party demand?

And would President Ron DeSantis or President Nikki Haley really act differently, if given the chance? Would they want to be on the hook personally for preventable death, even if it meant burdening Americans with dumb masking and testing rules that cut against their small government philosophy?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The national debate surrounding COVID boils down to risk. The president and many others believe that added COVID mandates, as onerous as they may be, are worth it because they’ll save lives. Critics see it the other way. They believe that continuing to disrupt American life is causing greater damage to the economy and the nation’s social fabric than whatever the public health benefits these mandates may hold.

Both arguments are true. And that’s why it stinks to be the president.

Joe Biden’s bully pulpit has enormous power when it comes to shaping the world’s opinion about any given issue. Unfortunately, the virus isn’t listening.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Alex “Keendawg” Keeney is a media personality whose work has been published widely. He has worked as a Congressional aide, TV writer, and marketing executive for the real Wolf of Wall Street. Follow him on Twitter @keendawg.

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Queen Nicki Leaves No Crumbs After Hosting the RHOP Reunion| The Tea

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Plus, Kanye’s Heartbreak, Celebrity Illness shockers and Jen Shah’s legal woes just got worse.

On this episode of “The Tea” Ashley, Blake and Brie dive into celebrity illness and heartbreak. To share, or not to share, that is the question. 

Keep reading and watch the episode below for fresh takes on the latest entertainment and celebrity news shot live from the Erupt studio in Hollywood.

RIP Virgil Abloh

On Sunday November 28, the fashion and entertainment community lost designer and fashion visionary Virgil Abloh.

He was the first African American artistic director at Louis Vuitton and founded the renowned culture and streetwear brand Off-White.

Abloh kept his 2-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer of the heart, hidden from most. He was 41.

“The Tea” hosts discuss Abloh’s decision to keep his diagnosis a secret like some stars including Chadwick Boseman and Robin Williams, versus stars who choose to share their battles publicly, like Selma Blair and Christina Applegate.

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Kanye Wants His Family Back

Kanye West, who was a close friend to Virgil Abloh, took to social media over the weekend expressing his intention to bring his family back together. Saying that doing so would influence millions of other families to reconcile too.

As reported in earlier episodes of The Tea, there is speculation Ye’s estranged wife, Kim Kardashian, is currently dating comedian Pete Davidson.

Could Kimye 2.0 be in our future? The Tea hosts discuss.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Jen Shah’s Right-Hand Man Pleads Guilty

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah along with her personal assistant Stuart Smith were charged with fraud back in March.

Initially, Smith gave a not guilty plea but recently flipped his plea to guilty.

Shah still maintains her innocence.

(Bravo TV)

Nicki Hosts RHOP Reunion

Nicki Minaj took over Andy Cohen’s chair to host episode 4 of the Real Housewives of Potomac reunion and we are here for it!

Nicki didn’t hold back and asked all the questions we’ve been dying to know. On top of that, no housewife was spared. 

They all got the smoke-equally.

Could celebrity reunion hosts bring new life to the housewives’ franchise? 

The hosts discuss who we’d love to see host next.

Watch The Tea get spilled here:

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The Omicron “Scary-iant” & Football Funny Money | Political Drinking Games

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Animals,  

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year has just intersected with the most wonderful time of the week. 

By that I mean, it’s time to put a little Christmas spirit into Erupt’s political drinking games. 

On offer this week: 

  • The world has a new COVID variant. Congratulations, omicron! 
  • Twitter has a new CEO. Will he be as powerful as his predecessor, Jack Dorsey? 
  • CNN cancels Chris Cuomo (“suspends”) for using his anchorman powers to help embattled brother, Andrew 
  • The USA and EU cancel South Africa in COVID panic 
  • Trump’s top advisor sets a date with Congress to snitch on the Boss 
  • The NFL and College football continue to spend ridiculous amounts of money on truly ridiculous things.  
  • The term “Happy Holidays” gets put to rest. 

AND… A VERY SPECIAL GUEST JOINS: 

Curt Mills, contributing editor at The American Conservative and also a writer for Un-Herd. We’ll see how this silk-stocking Washington, D.C., columnist holds up in our chamber of pain.  

WATCH THIS WEEK’S POLITICAL DRINKING GAMES:

Alex “Keendawg” Keeney is a media personality whose work has been published widely. He has worked as a Congressional aide, TV writer, and marketing executive for the real Wolf of Wall Street. Follow him on Twitter @keendawg. 

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