Local NewsTexas Resident Seeks to Depose Offshore Abortion Provider About Violating Texas Heartbeat Act

A Rule 202 petition seeks to determine if Michael Kimbro is violating the Texas Heartbeat Act by providing abortions off the shore of Galveston.
November 28, 2022
An offshore abortion provider may soon have to answer questions and face future litigation over whether or not his actions violate the Texas Heartbeat Act.

A resident of Southeast Texas wants to take the deposition of Michael Kimbro, who operates “Abortion Offshore” near Galveston in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Abortion Offshore transports women by boat from Galveston about 40 minutes offshore to what it claims are federal waters, where the abortion is performed. Women pay $1,500 for the abortion and are promised patient anonymity.

A New York resident, Kimbro has no medical experience but has operated multiple locations of Abortion Offshore along the Gulf Coast since mid-July.

“No, I should not be running any sort of medical facility,” Kimbro told KXAN reporter Jala Washington in August.

The Texan Tumbler

While Kimbro claims the abortions are legal because they occur in federal waters, the Rule 202 petition filed by Rachael Jackson-Hisler seeks to investigate whether that is true. She is represented by state Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), who is also an attorney.

The matter was filed in the 253rd District Court in Chambers County, where Jackson-Hisler resides.

A Rule 202 petition seeks the court’s permission for Jackson-Hisler to take the oral deposition of Kimbro to investigate possible claims under the Texas Health and Safety Code Section 171.208, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act. There is not yet a civil action being brought against Kimbro.

The Heartbeat Act allows civil actions against persons who perform an abortion on a woman who is carrying an unborn child with a detectable fetal heartbeat. A civil action is also allowed against those who aid and abet the performing of the illegal abortion.

Through the Rule 202 proceeding, Jackson-Hisler also wishes to gather information about “the identity of all individuals and organizations that aided or abetted illegal abortions by providing funding, insurance coverage, or logistical support.”

As the petition points out, “a plaintiff who successfully sues an individual or organization under section 171.208 is entitled to injunctive relief and at least $10,000 in statutory damages for each unlawful abortion that the defendant performed or facilitated, plus costs and attorneys’ fees.”

Jackson-Hisler also wishes to investigate possible violations of federal law by Kimbro for mailing or shipping materials related to an abortion under 18 U.S.C. Section 1461-62.

These offenses could lead to liability under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970, which also contains provisions allowing for civil actions.

Jackson-Hisler argues that the Rule 202 investigation of claims ought to be granted in order to “preserve evidence of great importance to the anticipated litigation.”

Delays could lead to forgotten or misplaced evidence that is crucial to any future litigation, the petition suggests.

At least five other Rule 202 petitions seeking an investigation of possible Heartbeat Act violations are pending in Texas.


Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.

Related Posts