Texas abortion law will be challenged by the Justice Department.
The state of Texas passed a near-total ban on abortions on Sept. 1, prompting a flurry of lawsuits aimed at halting its implementation.
But, despite the ongoing legal challenges — one of which is scheduled for a federal court hearing on Friday – Senate Bill 8 remains in place.
Abortion clinics, doctors, women’s rights groups, and even the US government are fighting to change the legislation, which prohibits abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy – when many women are unaware they are pregnant. The statute has been taken up by the nation’s top court once, though it did not rule on its constitutionality, and multiple lawsuits are pending. A federal lawsuit filed by the Biden administration will be heard in federal court on Friday.
According to Supreme Court precedent, abortion is still a constitutional right. SB 8’s structure, on the other hand, allows it to avoid precedent by transferring the execution of the statute from government to private persons.
SB 8 makes it difficult to name the correct defendants in lawsuits that would impede implementation of the legislation by allowing anyone in the country to file lawsuits against a provider or person who assists someone in procuring an abortion and barring state enforcement.
The Supreme Court ruled on a 5-4 majority not to block the statute on the day it took effect. The court noted procedural issues in returning the matter to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, where it is still pending. The court, however, made clear that it was not ruling on the statute’s validity, and that it was not overturning Roe vs. Wade.
Here’s where the various legal challenges stand.
Texas vs. United States
After the Biden administration promised to intervene, the Justice Department sued Texas on Sept. 9 in an attempt to stop the statute from being enforced. On Friday, federal and state attorneys will present their cases.
In the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman, a 2014 nominee of former President Barack Obama, is overseeing the case.
According to the Justice Department, the statute was written with the intent of undermining constitutional rights by making it difficult to contest in court.
“A state may not ban any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy,’ according to recognized constitutional law… Article Summary from Nokia News