DOJ asks judge to block Texas from enacting abortion law


The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an emergency motion Tuesday night to issue an order that would stop Texas from implementing its new controversial abortion law, which prohibits abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

DOJ argued in its motion that Texas adopted the measure “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.” It is specifically asking for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of the law.
 
“This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States in ensuring that its States respect the terms of the national compact,” the DOJ said in the 47-page motion.
 
“It is also necessary to protect federal agencies, employees, and contractors whose lawful actions S.B. 8 purports to prohibit,” the department added.
 
The legal action comes after the department announced last week that it was suing Texas over the restrictive law, which also allows most private citizens to file lawsuits against abortion providers and others if they suspect that it infringed on the new policy.
 
Successful lawsuits can be awarded $10,000.

Attorney General Merrick Garland at the time said the regulation is plainly improper because of the restrictions it imposes, and for the provisions that allow state residents to sue individuals who carry out or aid illegal abortions.

“The act is clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent,” Garland said at a press conference.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the legislation — sometimes referred to as the "fetal heartbeat bill" — in May, and it took effect at midnight on Sept. 1.

The law, which makes an exception for medical emergencies, was upheld by the Supreme Court earlier this month when the bench denied an emergency request from abortion providers to block the law.

Some Republicans lawmakers are now considering implementing similar legislation in their own jurisdictions, including those in Florida, Indiana, Arkansas and South Carolina.

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