September 10, 2021 – 20:54
The U.S. government sued southwestern Texas on Thursday in a bid to block its new law banning abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy, the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country.
Attorney General Merrick Garland told a news conference in Washington that Texas law “is clearly unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s long-standing precedent” that gives women in the United States the constitutional right to abortion.
He said the Justice Department, in filing a lawsuit against the country’s second-largest state, “has a duty to uphold the rule of law”. He said “all provisions” of the law were troubling.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote last week, allowed the law to remain in force, a decision that was welcomed by anti-abortion advocates seeking to overturn the historic 1973 court ruling that states that women in the US enjoy the constitutional right to abortion.
Those who support abortion rights in the United States, including President Joe Biden, criticized the court ruling.
President Biden warned that the law would cause “unconstitutional chaos” because it entitles private citizens, not government officials, to enforce the law by filing civil lawsuits against those who help a woman have an abortion after six weeks, be it doctors perform the procedure, or those who take a woman to a clinic.
The law rewards individuals who win the lawsuit with at least $ 10,000 and makes no exceptions for rape or incest cases.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said this week that the state will try to “eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas” by arresting and prosecuting them. He defended the law, saying women who were raped would still have six weeks to terminate the pregnancy. Many women do not realize they have become pregnant within six weeks.
Those who support abortion rights in the U.S. fear that the Supreme Court ruling provides for the overturning or limitation of the 1973 ruling that favors the right to abortion.
In its new term, which begins next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy approved by the southern state of Mississippi. / voa