Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a response to the Texas law banning abortions after six weeks, announcing the Department of Justice is exploring “all options” to challenge it.
In a statement released Monday, Garland said, “We will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act.”
Garland explained the FACE Act “prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services. It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services.”
According to the attorney general, the department “has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now.”
The department vows to “provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities.”
Concluding his statement, Garland made it clear the department “will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act.”
Garland’s statement comes just days after the Supreme Court refused to block the ban, as IJR reported.
Several lawmakers have voiced their strong opposition to law as well as President Joe Biden. He told reporters Friday, “The most pernicious thing about the Texas law, it sort of creates a vigilante system where people get rewards to go out…And it just seems un-American.”
The president added, “I respect people who think…who don’t support Roe v. Wade. I respect their views. I respect those who believe life begins in the moment of conception. I respect that, I don’t agree with it, I respect that.”
Biden also said he was told “that there are possibilities within the existing law, to have the Justice Department look and see whether are there things that can be done, that can limit the independent action of individuals and enforcing a state law.”
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