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The US Justice Department late Tuesday asked a federal judge in Texas to temporarily block a controversial new state law that bans abortions after nearly six weeks.

The emergency motion comes days after the DOJ sued Texas over the law seeking a temporary restraining order, claiming it was enacted “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”

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The law took effect on September 1 after the US Supreme Court upheld it in a 5-4 decision. This is the strictest abortion law in the country. Critics say many women do not yet know they are pregnant at six weeks – around the time when a fetal heartbeat can be detected for the first time – and the law makes no exceptions for rape or incest. does not make.

“This is clearly unconstitutional,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said last Thursday. “The clear and clearly acknowledged intent of this statutory scheme is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”

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Texas Heartbeat Act, or sb8, was signed in May by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and empowers private citizens to sue anyone who allegedly helps a woman get an abortion illegally.

Justice Department sues Texas over abortion law: ‘clearly unconstitutional’

“Texas devised an unprecedented plan that seeks to deny women and providers the ability to challenge [the law] In federal court,” the department wrote. “This attempt to protect a clearly unconstitutional law from review cannot be tolerated.”

In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference in San Antonio.  Governor Abbott defends Texas's near ban on abortion, says women and girls who are raped will not be forced to give birth because of new law "Provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to have an abortion." (AP Photo/Eric Gay, FILE)

The DOJ argued that the law was in Roe v. Wade and “is in conflict with a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy before feasibility.”

Responding to last week’s lawsuit, Rene Eise, press secretary to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, said, “The most precious freedom is life itself. Texas has passed a law that ensures that every child’s heartbeat is subject to abortion.” would escape havoc. Unfortunately, President Biden and his administration are more interested in changing the national narrative with their disastrous Afghanistan evacuation and reckless open border policies than in protecting the innocent unborn. We are confident that the courts will uphold the right to life. will maintain and protect them.”

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to Granthshala News’ late-night request for comment.

Granthshala News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.