Just days after Texas passed a historic “heartbeat” bill making abortion illegal after a baby’s heartbeat is detectable, Biden’s Department of Justice announced it is fighting back against the pro-life law.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before the press on Thursday to announce that the DOJ will be suing the state of Texas, claiming that this new law was “a scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States,” according to Texas Tribune.
The law, which bans abortion after six weeks gestation, went into effect on September 1 after the governor signed it earlier this year.
The bill allows for women to get chemical abortions by a pill, or “in-clinic” abortions up until the heartbeat of the baby is detected. After that point, abortion is completely illegal.
What makes the legislation unique compared to similar versions passed in other states is that Texans will now be able to report anyone who is an accessory to abortion, such as the doctor performing it, or even the Uber driver giving the ride to the woman getting the said abortion, according to Texas Tribune.
But this does not mean that abortion is criminalized for the mother obtaining one; only the ones aiding her in getting the abortion.
Many clinics have reportedly already permanently closed or canceled abortion appointments due to fear of getting shut down by the government or turned in by a civilian.
Arguing that the law must be stopped, Garland said, “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 Texas law, however, does give exceptions to certain circumstances: If the mother has been raped, or if there is a life-threatening emergency. The bill, according to Human Coalition Action’s Chelsey Youman, will save over “50,000 lives a year,” she told Texas Tribune.
In 2019 alone, Texas performed over 56,000 abortions. Texas Republicans hope that the new law will drastically decrease that number and save thousands of babies’ lives.