The Biden administration announced on Thursday that it is taking legal action against the state of Texas over a bill that recently became law in the state that protects unborn babies from being aborted at the point of the “first detectable heartbeat.”
“The case sets up a federal-state clash over the future of abortion rights, and a test of whether the department can upend a state law that Texas lawmakers drafted in a manner that makes it difficult for abortion-rights advocates to challenge the ban in court,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The Biden administration has faced pressure from Democrats and abortion-rights groups to take action to stop the Texas restrictions after the Supreme Court last week allowed them to take effect.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland claimed during a press conference on Thursday that the law bans many abortions before a woman knows that she is pregnant.
“[Texas Heartbeat Act] is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference. “Those precedents hold in the words of Planned Parenthood versus Casey, that quote, regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.”
BREAKING: Attorney General Merrick Garland announces that the DOJ is filing a lawsuit against Texas over their law banning abortions when a heartbeat is detecting, calling the law "clearly unconstitutional." pic.twitter.com/hvI2KNM4nP
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 9, 2021
Garland claimed that “because the statute makes it too risky for an abortion clinic to stay open, abortion providers have ceased providing services.”
“This leaves women in Texas unable to exercise their constitutional rights and unable to obtain judicial review, at the very moment, they need it,” he claimed. “This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party should fear. If it prevails, it may become a model for action in other areas, by other states, and with respect to other constitutional rights and judicial precedents.”
“The United States also brings a suit to assert other federal interests that SB8 unconstitutionally impairs,” he continued. “Among other things, SB8 conflicts with federal law, by prohibiting federal agencies from exercising their authorities and carrying out their responsibilities under federal laws relating to abortion services. It also [inaudible] and non-governmental partners who implement those laws to civil liability and penalties.”
“The complaint therefore seeks a declaratory judgment that SB8 is invalid under the supremacy clause, and the 14th amendment is preempted by federal law and violates the doctrine of inter-governmental immunity,” he claimed. “The United States also seeks a permanent and preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the statute against the state of Texas, including against the state’s officers, employees and agents and private parties, it has effectively deputized who would bring suit under SB8.”
The Department of Justice has announced a lawsuit against Texas for the new abortion law. pic.twitter.com/5aWqBgBb2c
— MRCTV (@mrctv) September 9, 2021
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This article has been updated to include additional information.