WASHINGTON – The US Justice Department has filed an emergency motion with a federal judge asking it to block the southwestern state of Texas from enforcing a new law that bans nearly all abortions in the state.
In a 45-page motion filed late Tuesday with a federal district court, the Justice Department argued that the new law, commonly known as Senate Bill 8, would “entitle women to their constitutional rights” to obtain abortions. to prevent its use” was drafted.
The emergency motion is the second legal action the Joe Biden administration has taken against Texas over the new law, after filing a lawsuit last week citing the same legal grounds.
The new law, which took effect on September 1, outlaws abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy – which opponents say is before most women know they are pregnant – in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. There is no exception for
Texas is one of more than a dozen Republican-led states that have imposed so-called “heartbeat” abortion restrictions, which restrict the procedure once a “fetal heartbeat” is detected, often at six weeks. , and sometimes a woman finds out that she is pregnant.
Courts in the past have blocked such restrictions, ruling that they are not consistent with the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that gave women in the US the constitutional right to abortion without excessive government interference. has gone.
The Texas anti-abortion law is also unusual in that it gives private citizens the power to enforce it by allowing them to prosecute abortion providers and anyone who “aides or abets” an abortion after six weeks. The winners of such lawsuits would be entitled to a minimum of $10,000.
The Justice Department called the provision “an unprecedented plan that seeks to deny women and providers the ability to challenge SB8 in federal court.”
The US Supreme Court earlier this month refused to block Texas from enacting the new anti-abortion law in a 5 to 4 decision that has led to President Joe Biden including Roe v. Wade, who warned that “complete strangers will now have the right to inject themselves into the most personal and personal health decisions women face.”
Some information for this report has been received from the Associated Press and Reuters.