February 24, 2024

Signage is seen outside of the legal offices of the BakerHostetler law firm in Washington, DC, US, May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Texas lawmaker Cody Vasut is a member of the Texas Freedom Caucus, which warned Sidley Austin against aiding abortion access
  • Vasut’s BakerHostetler online profile and directory listing disappeared last week

(Reuters) – Law firm BakerHostetler has removed its online profile for a lawyer who is a member of a Texas legislative caucus that said it wants the state to disbar attorneys who assist women seeking abortions.

The firm’s webpage for Cody Vasut, a member of the Texas House of Representatives and the conservative Texas Freedom Caucus, became inaccessible starting Thursday, two days after Reuters reported on his group’s position on lawyers and abortion. Until then Vasut was listed on the Ohio-founded firm’s website as “of counsel” in its Houston office.

Vasut is also no longer included in the firm’s alphabetical online directory, and at least one other BakerHostetler webpage related to his work at the firm is now offline.

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Vasut did not answer phone calls and emails seeking comment, and a BakerHostetler spokesperson and firm leaders did not respond to repeated questions about his employment status there. Vasut has not filed any notices of status change in ongoing court matters.

The 11-member Texas Freedom Caucus in a letter earlier this month accused another major US law firm, Sidley Austin, of appearing to be “complicit in illegal abortions” in the state. The letter said Sidley was “exposing itself and each of its partners to felony criminal prosecution and disbarment.”

The caucus also 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.

Sidley, which has offices in Houston and Dallas, is among several major US law firms that started offering to cover the costs of staff who would have to travel to obtain abortions after the US Supreme Court ruling that reversed national access to the procedure.

Sidley has not publicly responded to the Texas Freedom Caucus letter and had no immediate comment Tuesday.

Vasut’s now-deleted BakerHostetler webpage said he represented oil, gas and energy companies in litigation. Texas bar records still list him as being with the firm, though such records are not immediately updated when a lawyer changes positions. His LinkedIn profile continues to identify him as a BakerHostetler lawyer.

A BakerHostetler spokesperson did not respond to questions about whether the firm will also cover abortion travel costs for its employees.

Read more:

Attorney at rival firm among lawmakers accusing Sidley Austin of aiding illegal abortions

Texas lawmakers target law firms for aiding abortion access

Large US law firms begin to offer abortion travel benefits after Dobbs ruling

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