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U.S. Justice Department sues Texas over six-week abortion ban

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On Thursday, Sept. 9, the U.S. Justice Department sued of Texas over the state’s new abortion law.

“SB 8 bans nearly all abortions in the state after 6 weeks of pregnancy,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, “before many women know they’re pregnant and many months before a pregnancy is viable. It does so even cases of sexual abuse, rape or incest.” He also said that it bars any support of doctors who perform abortions or people who seek them.

“The act is clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent,” Garland said in the announcement of the lawsuit. He stated that the law allows unrelated people to act as “bounty hunters” authorized to recover at least $10,000 per claim from individuals.

He said that the has had the intended effect as clinics in the state have stopped all abortion services.

“This kind of scheme to nullify the constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, no matter their politics or party, should fear,” Garland said. He said it could be a model for other states and curtailing other rights, giving private citizens the ability to directly block the rights of other citizens.

According to the complaint, Texas enacted SB 8 in open defiance of the constitution by banning abortion at approximately six weeks in nearly all cases. The law violates individuals’ rights to have an abortion procedure prior to viability, which is usually around 24 weeks. Additionally, the law contains no exceptions for pregnancies that result from rape, sexual abuse, incest or for pregnancies involving a fetal defect incompatible with life after birth.

You can read the complaint here.

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