The US Department of Justice is suing Texas’s restrictive abortion law. The regulation is “clearly unconstitutional,” said Justice Minister Garland. That is why it must be declared invalid immediately.
The US government has sued the state of Texas in a dispute over its new abortion law. “The law is clearly unconstitutional,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland when announcing the lawsuit. Garland referred to a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in 1973 that fundamentally legalized abortion.
“The Justice Department has a duty to defend the United States Constitution and uphold the rule of law,” Garland said. In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas, the US government is demanding that the law be immediately invalidated.
No exception for rape
The country’s strictest abortion law went into effect earlier this month in Texas. The text, also known as the “Heartbeat Law”, prohibits abortions from the point at which the fetus’s heartbeat can be determined, i.e. from about the sixth week of pregnancy. At this stage, many women don’t even know they are pregnant. Even in the case of rape or incest, the law does not provide for any exceptions.
There is also outrage that it is not the Texan authorities that are supposed to enforce the new regulations, but private individuals. Citizens are encouraged to sue those they suspect of assisting women with an abortion after the sixth week. This could affect abortion clinics or their employees, for example, but also relatives of pregnant women or a taxi driver who takes the woman to the clinic. Plaintiffs, if convicted, will receive $ 10,000 payable by the convict. The law’s critics are already speaking of “abortion bounty hunters”.
Garland fears copycat laws
The obvious and explicit intent of the law is to prevent women from exercising their rights, Garland said. He warned that such a regulation could serve as a model for similar laws in other areas. “You don’t have to think long to see the damage our society would suffer if states were allowed to pass such laws and empower every private individual to violate someone else’s constitutionally protected rights in this way.”
Supreme Court rejects urgent motion
The US Supreme Court rejected an urgent motion against the law. The Supreme Court did not use substantive arguments, but rather procedural arguments. The decision of the conservatively dominated court came with a narrow majority of five of the nine constitutional judges.