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Justice Department Hits Texas With Lawsuit Over Controversial Abortion Law

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Attorney General Merrick Garland is announcing a new lawsuit against Texas over its controversial abortion law.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Garland said, “Today, after careful assessment of the facts and the law, the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas.”

“Our position is set out in detail in our complaint. Its basis is as follows: S.B. 8 bans nearly all abortions in the state after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant and months before a pregnancy is viable.”

He continued, “It does so even in cases of rape, sexual abuse, or incest. And it further prohibits any effort to aid doctors who provide pre-viability abortions or the women who seek them. The act is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent.”

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The lawsuit comes after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against blocking the law, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

After the decision, President Joe Biden called the law an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade.”

“By allowing a law to go into effect that empowers private citizens in Texas to sue health care providers, family members supporting a woman exercising her right to choose after six weeks, or even a friend who drives her to a hospital or clinic, it unleashes unconstitutional chaos and empowers self-anointed enforcers to have devastating impacts,” Biden said.

The president also said he directed “whole-of-government effort to respond to this decision” to see “what steps the Federal Government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe, and what legal tools we have to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas’ bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties.”

Garland vowed earlier this week that the Justice Department would explore “all options” to challenge it, as IJR reported.

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