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Kamis, 09 September 2021

US President Joe Biden's administration sues to block 'unconstitutional' abortion ban in Texas - ABC News

President Joe Biden's administration has sued Texas, seeking to block enforcement of a new law almost entirely banning abortion in the state, as Democrats fear the right to abortion established almost 50 years ago may be at risk. 

The US Supreme Court last week let stand the Texas law banning abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy — before many women realise they are pregnant.

Although that decision did not address the constitutionality of the Texas law, it represented a major victory for social conservatives who have been trying to ban abortion since the court's 1973 Roe v Wade decision established the constitutional right to the procedure.

Attorney General Merrick Garland called the Texas law "clearly unconstitutional".

"This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party, should fear," Mr Garland said.

The Texas law relies on private citizens to enforce it by filing civil lawsuits against people who help a woman obtain an abortion after six weeks, whether that be a doctor, who performs the procedure or a taxi who drives a woman to a clinic.

The law allows people who sue to receive at least $10,000.

It makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, although there are narrowly defined exemptions for the mother's health.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott defended the law this week, saying the state would "eliminate all rapists".

"Texas passed a law that ensures that the life of every child with a heartbeat will be spared from the ravages of abortion," Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze said in a statement.

The online court docket initially said the case was assigned to US District Judge Lee Yeakel in the Western District of Texas, but the docket was changed to US District Judge Robert Pitman.

Mr Pitman, appointed by former President Barack Obama, was in August due to consider blocking the Texas law from taking effect but an appeals court halted the proceeding.

Reuters

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2021-09-10 01:01:17Z
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