Justice Department Again Presses to Halt Texas Abortion Law

In this June 15, 2021, file photo, Merrick Garland, U.S. attorney general, speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. The Biden administration urged the courts again Monday night to step in and suspend a new Texas law that has banned most abortions since early September, as clinics hundreds of miles away remain busy with Texas patients making long journeys to get care. The latest attempt comes three days after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the nation’s most restrictive abortion law after a brief 48-hour window last week in which Texas abortion providers — following a blistering ruling by a lower court — had rushed to bring in patients again . The days ahead could now be key in determining the immediate future of the law known as Senate Bill 8, including whether there is another attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court weigh in. A federal judge temporarily blocked the near-total abortion ban, a law that would prohibit women from obtaining an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The law bans abortions in Texas once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually at six weeks and before some women even know they are pregnant. Although other GOP-controlled states have had similar early bans on abortions blocked by courts, the Texas law has proved durable because the state offloads enforcement solely onto private citizens, who can collect at least $10,000 in damages if they successfully sue abortion providers. “If Texas’s scheme is permissible, no constitutional […]

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