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Biden’s Justice Department Vows to Protect Abortion Seekers in Texas

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is pledging to get involved after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to block an abortion law that passed in Texas.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 not to block a Texas state law that prohibits abortion after six weeks.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that his agency will “protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services” under a federal law referred to as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

“The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack,” he added. “We 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.”

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Garland said the DOJ will try to fight back against the Texas law, saying his agency will “protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion.”

Garland told CNN on Sunday:

We have the best lawyers at the Justice Department looking for legal remedies to protect women who are seeking to exercise their constitutional rights. We have the team at HHS looking at what means we can do to try to get women the healthcare services they need in the face of this Texas law, and we have the gender policy counsel here at the White House, the first time a president’s ever had a policy counsel devoted to gender issues coordinating all this work to bring options forward for the president and the vice president.

Last week, the Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions.

In a 5-4 vote, the Court refused to step in to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

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The measure is arguably one of the most pro-life laws in the country.

Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito voted in the majority to uphold the Texas abortion ban.

Chief Justice John Roberts, a supposed Republican, joined the court’s three liberal members in dissent.

The Supreme Court majority cited “complex and novel” procedural questions for its decision, emphasizing that it was not ruling on the constitutionality of the Texas law.

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Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 back in May, which prohibits abortions following the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The measure also allows members of the public to file a lawsuit against doctors they claim violated the law.

Nearly two dozen abortion providers were looking to block the law from going into effect.

The providers filed an emergency motion asking the appeals court to issue a temporary stay or send the matter back to a lower court.

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The 5th Circuit Court, which is arguably one of the most conservative in the country, denied the request.

The law was done in a clever way, where no government official was charged with enforcing the law, but providing private citizens the right to sue abortion providers who perform abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Because of that, there is no one for abortion rights activists to sue as they normally would.

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