Friday, November 26

DoJ Pledges to Protect Women Seeking Abortions in Texas After Radical State Ban | Texas


United States Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that the federal government will take steps to protect those in Texas trying to obtain an abortion in the wake of the strictest anti-abortion law in the United States that took effect last week.

The United States Department of Justice said it will not tolerate violence against anyone seeking abortion services in the state and that federal officials are exploring all options to challenge the ban on nearly all layoffs, with a new state law that it also empowers the public to enforce the law in the future. the way critics condemn promoting vigilantism.

Wreath issued a statement which said the Department of Justice would “protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services” under a federal law known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (or Faces) Act.

Garland said federal prosecutors are still urgently examining ways to challenge Texas law and that the Justice Department would enforce federal law “to protect the constitutional rights of women and others, including access to abortion.”

The most radical abortion law in the US went into effect on September 1 after the US Supreme Court failed to intervene before the August 31 deadline to block it, following an appeal from emergency before the high court, despite concerted legal campaigns.

The near-total abortion ban in Texas allows any private citizen to sue an abortion provider or anyone believed to have helped a woman abort against the law, but not the patient herself.

Critics said it was opening the floodgates to harassment and frivolous lawsuits by anti-abortion vigilantes that could eventually close most of the dwindling number of clinics in the state. Texas law also leaves the landmark Roe v Wade Supreme Court case that paved the way for the legalization of abortion in the US in 1973 hanging by a thread.

Meanwhile, federal law commonly known as the Face Act prohibits physical obstruction or the use of threat of force to intimidate or interfere with a person seeking reproductive health services.

The law also prohibits damaging property in abortion clinics and other reproductive health centers.

The new Texas law prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect heart activity, usually around six weeks, before some women know they are pregnant.

Courts have prevented other states from imposing similar restrictions, but Texas law differs significantly because it leaves enforcement of the law in the hands of private citizens through lawsuits rather than criminal prosecutors, in part as a way to avoid legal review. .

Justice department officials have also contacted prosecutors, including U.S. prosecutors in Texas and FBI field offices in the state, to discuss the application of federal provisions.

“The department will provide federal law enforcement support when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is attacked,” Garland said.

“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 Law.”

After failing to intervene before the law came into force, the five-member conservative majority of the Supreme Court issued a decision in the emergency case, refusing to block the law, and the three liberal justices published forceful dissent and joined the Chief Justice John. Roberts.

Joe Biden called the law unconstitutional and promised his administration’s efforts to counter its effects as quickly as possible.

But there is a limit to what the federal government can do.

Ironically, Merrick Garland would have been a Supreme Court Justice if Barack Obama had been able to approve his nomination when he was president. But then Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell blocked the process and the vacancy he had been chosen to fill, after the death of Antonin Scalia, went to a selection of Donald Trump after the latter to win the White House.

After Biden won the 2020 election, beating Trump, he nominated Garland to become his attorney general.




www.theguardian.com

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