I had a disturbing thought recently: What if a media outlet created a reality show based on today’s abortion rights culture war? Call it “Abortion Busters” or “Fetal Defenders” or “Gestation Vigilantes.” The show might follow individuals or groups of private citizens as they seek to defend the rights of unborn fetuses by keeping watch on pregnant – or potentially pregnant – women in their communities.

The show might feature stakeouts in the drugstore pregnancy test aisle; videos showing entries to and exits from health care facilities, “Jerry Springer”-like confrontations and so forth. Perhaps the series culminates in civil legal actions against perceived abortion providers, with the “winner” extorting the most money from the process – $10,000 or more per successful suit.

This sounds downright disgusting, and I hope such a series never airs on TV. The problem is that this series is airing now in the lives of millions of persons in Texas and other states with similar citizen enforcement. The Texas reality show is new enough that lawsuits and payouts have yet to be tallied. But rest assured the vigilantes are conducting their surveillance, preparing their evidence and getting ready to sue women – fellow citizens, neighbors, friends, family members – who simply wish to exert independent control over their own reproductive health and future lives.

How does this end? Badly for all if allowed to continue. Or citizens can stop this evil assault on personal liberty at the ballot box.

Tom Meuser

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