TikTok users frustrated by Texas’ strict new abortion ban have been praised for creating a “genius” plan to protest the “egregious” law.
The Heartbeat Bill prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks — before some women know they’re pregnant. It went into effect on Wednesday and does not make exceptions for rape or incest.
The move has ignited severe backlash, including from President Joe Biden who said the bill is an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights”.
Under the law, any private citizen can sue Texas abortion providers who violate the law, as well as anyone who “aids or abets” a woman getting the procedure.
If they win, they could get a bounty of at least US$10,000, which would come out of the pockets of the defendants. Abortion patients themselves, however, cannot be sued.
TikTokers band together to crash website
In protest of the new "vigilante" system, numerous TikTok users have banded together to spam a whistle blower website created by anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, ultimately causing it to briefly crash.
The plan appears to have been created by an 18-year-old TikToker from Texas named Olivia Julianna.
She posted a video encouraging people to go to the website and submit a fake tip.
Other users have since posted clips of them sending numerous fake submissions, including thousands of Shrek memes.
The protest plan has been praised by thousands of social media users and videos promoting it have been shared more than 200,000 times.
“I keep sending in videos of birds dropping their eggs out of the nests on purpose,” one person said.
“Make sure to use kinda real names and kinda real seeming scenarios to waste as much of their time as possible!” another said.
“Use predictive text to type a full narrative that makes no sense. Really waste their time but keep them reading,” a third person chimed in.
“They keep trying to set up things on the internet only to have deal with younger people who are way better at the internet than they are,” a man said.
One man said he had created a a computer bot to repeatedly spam the website.
Women in need seeking help in other states
Biden said on Thursday he is launching a “whole-of-government effort,” including from the White House counsel, to combat the new law after an overnight Supreme Court decision let it stand.
Doctors who provide abortions in Texas say they've already been forced to turn numerous women away, leading to an influx of patients seeking help in neighbouring states.
Rebecca Tong, who operates an abortion clinic in Oklahoma, told ABC News she's become inundated with calls.
“The phones have just been ridiculous,” she said, adding that about two-thirds of the calls are Texas residents.
With AP and Reuters
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