Chicago Law Firm Targeted by Texas Legislators for Providing Abortion Travel Reimbursement

One of the country's largest law firms, which is headquartered in the Loop, is the target of a letter from the Texas Freedom Caucus, a group made up of 11 Republican legislators who are threatening criminal prosecution and even disbarment for lawyers who facilitate abortion, even if they are done in states where abortion is still legal.

In the first sentence of the letter, the legislators accuse the law firm Sibley and Austin of deciding to reimburse the travel costs of employees who leave Texas to, in the group's word, "murder their unborn children."

"The Texas legislature has indicated that they want to stop abortion at all costs, and I think they've grown increasingly frustrated by companies, including this law firm, that have said they will help their employees to get abortions in other states," said David Cohen, professor of law at Drexel University's Thomas Kline School of Law and one of the authors of the upcoming article "The New Abortion Battleground." 

"As long as there's an office in Texas then Texas has jurisdiction over them... and whether the company is safe or not is going to be left to the courts to decide," he said. 

A spokesman for the law firm said the company is aware of the Texas letter, but has no comment. Cohen says this case may be the first in a series of complicated battles between states in wake of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

"I think if the Supreme Court thought it was done with dealing with issues around abortion when it overturned Roe, it was wrong, because issues like this and other complicated issues are going to bubble up and it's going to be in meshed in this for a long time," Cohen stated.

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