PAUL J. WEBER
AUSTIN, TX (AP) – The Biden administration is again calling on courts to step in and suspend a new Texas law that bans most abortions since early September, as clinics hundreds of miles away are still occupied by Texas patients making long trips for medical care. …
The latest attempt on Monday came three days after the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the nation’s most restrictive abortion law after a short 48-hour window last week that saw abortion providers in Texas after a harsh court ruling. lower instance – hastened to bring again in patients.
The days ahead could now be pivotal for determining the near future of the law, known as Senate Bill 8, including whether there will be another attempt to reach a decision in the US Supreme Court.
The law prohibits abortion in Texas upon detection of cardiac activity, which usually occurs within six weeks, and even before some women are aware of their pregnancy. While other states controlled by the GOP had similar early abortion bans blocked by courts, Texas law has proven to be strong because the state shifts law enforcement solely to private citizens, who can receive at least $ 10,000 in damages if they successfully sue the abortion providers.
“If the Texas scheme is valid, no constitutional right is immune from state-sanctioned sabotage of this kind,” the Justice Department said in an appellate court.
In what appeared to be a message to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department raised the specter that, if allowed to remain in force, the legal structure created when the law was passed could be used to circumvent even the 2008 and 2010 Supreme Court rulings. on the rights to weapons. and campaign funding.
It is unclear when the 5th District Court will decide to renew the interim order authorizing the Texas law in effect. The court gave the Texas Attorney General’s Office until Thursday to respond to the Justice Department’s latest arguments.
Just as last week some Texas abortion providers quickly moved to re-abortion patients in the past six weeks, a New Orleans appeals court overturned the ruling while the case is pending. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in Texas, filed numerous stories of Texas women hit by the law in a separate filing Monday night, including one patient they said was only 12 years old.
“Oklahoma staff work overtime to care for Texas patients who have been denied abortion,” family planning lawyers told the court.
Texas law is the most severe abortion ban in the country since the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling nearly half a century ago. A 1992 Supreme Court decision barred states from banning abortion until viability, when the fetus can survive outside the womb, around 24 weeks of gestation. But Texas law has so far escaped blocking by courts because of its innovative enforcement scheme.
The Biden administration sued Texas over the law last month after it went into effect. Texas officials defended the restrictions signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in May, saying they had no way of stopping private individuals from filing lawsuits.