Last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Texas’ new abortion law which bans the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy. AG Garland added that the law was clearly unconstitutional and beneath a precedent Supreme Court ruling.
The legal action was filed after the Supreme Court denied the request of Texas-based abortion service providers’to block the law. The DOJ lawsuit named Texas as the defendant, whilst seeking to have the state’s anti-abortion law be declared void, null, and invalid. Specifically, the lawsuit is also petitioning for a ruling that prohibits the state and other private parties from enforcing the provisions of Texas Senate Bill 8.
When is Abortion Legal in the U.S.?
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitutions protects the right of pregnant women to choose abortion as an option and the right to privacy, for as long as the procedure is not in violation of other laws. Yet the new law under SB 8 violates the aforementioned federal law by making it a criminal act to assist a pregnant woman who seeks or needs to abort her pregnancy within the bounds of what is recognized as legal. .
The “heartbeat” law bans abortion once there is a heartbeat detected from the fetus, which usually happens during the 6th week of pregnancy when a woman is still unaware of her pregnancy.