Biden urges judge to block Texas anti-abortion law
The administration of US President Joe Biden on Friday called on a federal judge to quickly block a new law that bans most abortions in Texas and raised concerns over women’s restricted access to care.
The controversial law, which came into effect on September 1, poses “an open threat to the rule of law,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Netter said during oral argument in Austin.
In its challenge, the US government described the ban as “a truly extraordinary law designed to overrun the federal government and violate the constitution,” Netter said, adding that “judicial intervention” was needed to make the law unenforceable until now. ‘that the case is decided. .
Texas law, the most restrictive of its kind in the country, prohibits abortions as soon as an embryo’s heartbeat is detectable, usually around six weeks pregnant, and does not allow exceptions in cases of incest or rape. .
In recent years, similar laws have been passed in other states but were overturned because they violated the US Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed a woman’s right to abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, at about 22 weeks gestation.
Texas law is unique in that it allows anyone to take legal action against someone who assisted with an abortion, which prompted Netter to accuse state authorities of setting up a regime of “vigilant justice”.
The nine-judge Supreme Court, with its clear conservative majority, cited such procedural issues as “new” when it ruled last month not to intervene to block the law, Texas Senate Bill 8, as the pro-choice advocates demanded.
The federal government entered the fray, citing its interest in defending the constitutional rights of Americans.
Netter argued that although the United States rarely sues to challenge state laws, “this prosecution is necessary because SB-8 represents an attack to date unprecedentedly on the supremacy of the federal government, of the federal constitution. “.
Attorney William Thompson of the Texas Attorney General’s Office accused Netter of “inflammatory rhetoric” and insisted the law respects Supreme Court precedent.
But Judge Robert Pitman retorted, “If the state is so confident in the constitutionality of limitations on a woman’s access to abortion, then why has it gone to so much trouble to create this cause? very unusual private action?
Pitman could render a ruling in the matter soon.