Justice Department and Texas officials clash over abortion ban ahead of Supreme Court showdown

Justice Department and Texas officials clash over abortion ban ahead of Supreme Court showdown

Washington — As the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in a pair of cases over a Texas law that bans most abortions in the state, the Justice Department and abortion providers are warning that if the high court allows the measure’s novel enforcement mechanism to stand, it will open the door for other states to pass their own laws targeting rights they disagree with. “If Texas gets away with this ploy, the constitutional right to abortion will be the first but certainly not the last target of states unwilling to accept federal law with which they disagree,” abortion providers told the Supreme Court in a brief filed as part of their dispute with Texas. The high court said last Friday it would take up both a legal battle brought against Texas and state officials by the Justice Department, as well as a separate dispute from Texas abortion providers. The ban, known as S.B. 8, will remain in place while the justices consider the case. The Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments for November 1, a mere 10 days after the justices agreed to jump into the fight, which set in motion a lightning-fast schedule for the involved parties to file briefs in their respective cases further laying out their arguments. The Texas law prohibits abortions after embryonic cardiac activity is detected, usually at about six weeks and often before a woman is aware that she is pregnant. The Justice Department and abortion providers argue the ban is unconstitutional, […]

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