Texas abortion ‘whistleblower’ website shut down twice in one week

Southwest

AUSTIN (NewsNation Now) — For the second time in a week, a whistleblower website that allowed users to submit anonymous tips about individuals believed to have tried to receive abortions in Texas has been shut down.

Web host Epik took down “ProLifeWhistleblower.com” over the weekend after determining the tip line violated its terms of service by gathering information about third parties, The Washington Post reports. Texas Right To Life, a nonprofit pro-life organization behind the website, was previously shut down by website hosting service GoDaddy.

The site cropped up after the passage of Texas’ controversial law, which bans most abortions from being performed after six weeks if a heartbeat is detected in the womb — which is often before women know they’re pregnant — even in cases of rape or incest. 

Additionally, the law, pegged a “fetal heartbeat bill,” allows private citizens to sue anyone involved in or aiding abortion for up to $10,000, which many say would essentially place a bounty on people’s heads.

Since the law went into effect on Sept. 1, the whistleblower site has faced other challenges, including a temporary crash after TikTok users deluged it with fake tips, memes and even the entire script for the 2007 animated “Bee Movie.”

Despite international outcry, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the law to stand on Tuesday after a group of Texas abortion clinics and advocates requested it be blocked. However, SCOTUS could still make a move soon.

Nationally, the law has faced fierce condemnation — including calls for businesses and individuals to #BoycottTexas.

On Wednesday, the city council in Portland, Oregon, will vote on an emergency resolution that would ban the purchase of goods and services.

Meanwhile, Lyft and Uber are among companies that have pledged to cover legal fees for drivers who encounter lawsuits related to anyone they might transport to receive abortion services.

“ProLifeWhistleBlower.com” currently redirects to Texas Right to Life’s website, which Epik has never hosted. A spokesperson for Epik, which has hosted the QAnon-saturated 8chan, told The Washington Post that the site’s domain registration is still under discussion.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate KXAN contributed to this report.

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