Historic Parallels Of Texas Abortion Law Bounty System : Planet Money : The Indicator from Planet Money The Texas abortion law includes an unusual provision: a financial incentive to report others. On today's show, we look into another time in U.S. history where the government tried bounties.

Do You Want To Live In A Bounty Economy?

Do You Want To Live In A Bounty Economy?

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Chris Hackett/Getty Images/Tetra images RF
Close-up photo of old American flag.
Chris Hackett/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

The Supreme Court recently declined to block a new abortion law passed in Texas that bans abortions following detection of a fetal pulse. While previous anti-abortion laws have been blocked by federal courts, this law is unusual in that it incentivizes citizens to report anyone who, "knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion". In other words, Texas is setting up a bounty system.

Today on the show, we speak with historian and writer Richard Blackett. He says the news from Texas instantly made him think of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, which also created an economy around bounties and led to unexpected consequences.

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