A Texas legislator who is part of a legislative caucus that recently accused the Chicago-based Sidley Austin law firm of appearing to be "complicit in illegal abortions" is an attorney employed by another major U.S. law firm, Reuters reported.
Texas state Rep. Cody Vasut is "of counsel" in the Houston office of BakerHostetler, an Ohio-founded firm with about 1,000 lawyers nationally. He also is a lay preacher at Second Baptist Church in Angleton, according to his official biography.
Vasut is also one of 11 state lawmakers in the Texas Freedom Caucus, which said it would introduce legislation making law firms criminally liable and requiring disbarment for Texas attorneys who help to pay for abortions or abortion travel, Reuters noted.
The caucus said in a July 7 letter to Sidley that the firm "may have aided or abetted drug-induced abortions" in violation of Texas law and warned it to preserve any relevant records in anticipation of being sued.
Other major law firms with Texas officessuch as Vinson & Elkins and McDermott Will & Emeryare also offering staff abortion travel benefits.