Attorney General Merrick B. Garland's Statement Was Not Directly Challenged New Law from Texas which almost bannedall abortions in the state.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said Monday that the Department of Justice would continue to protect women seeking abortion by Texas , days after a state law came into effect almost completely banning the procedure.
"We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services," Garland said in a statement. "The department will provide federal law enforcement support when an abortion clinic or reproductive health facility is attacked.
Mr. Garland said the Justice Department "would protect the constitutional rights ofwomen and other people "under the title Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act , or FACE, a federal law of 1994 that guarantees access to the entrances of clinics that offer reproductive health services, including those that offer abortions. by law, it is illegal to threaten, obstruct or injure any person seeking access to such a clinic or to damage clinic property, liable to a fine or penalty of 'imprisonment.
In his statement, Mr. Garland did not directly challenge the Texas law, known as Bill 8 of the Senate, which is the the most restrictive in the country and prohibits all abortions when cardiac activity may bedetected. It is usually around six weeks pregnant and before many women know they are pregnant. The law does not include any exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
Mr. Garland's statement seemed like a first step in the process. 'Biden administration to find a way to counter a state law that pushed back the issue of abortion rights in the center of American politics .
"I think he was trying to send a signal to people in the field that they had to physically leave the clinics on their own. I think there is a concern that according to reports on the ground, activists hang out in clinics and they watch who comes in and who leaves, ”said Howard M. Wasserman, professor of law atFlorida International University in Miami. "There may be acts of intimidation, so FACE would be a way to stop this.
Bill 8 of the Senate prohibits state officials from enforcing the abortion ban, a feature intended to make it difficult to challenge in court. Instead, it effectively deputes ordinary citizens to prosecute anyone who performs the procedure or " aids and encourages ". Complainants are entitled to at least $ 10,000 if successful.
Gouv. Greg Abbott signed the measure into law in May. It came into effect on Wednesday after the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, decided not to block it , despite the precedent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling which established a right to abortion.
Although the majority stressed that it did not rule on the constitutionality of Texas law, the ruling appeared to confirm the worst fears of reproductive rights activists , who warned that the Tories were moving aggressively to put in place a judicial majority that would overturn abortion rights.
Mr. Garland did not go into details on what federal law enforcement support would look like for those seeking an abortion, although he said the Department of Justice had contacted the FBI and US prosecutor's offices in Texas and across the country "to discuss our law enforcement authorities.
President Biden, in a statement last week, decried Texas law as "an unprecedented attack on the constitutional rights of 'a woman ". He highlighted the provision in the law allowing citizens to prosecute those who break the law, saying " complete strangers will now be empowered to inject themselves into the most private and personal health decisions women face ".
Understanding the Texas Abortion Law Map 1 of 4
The most restrictive in the country. The Texas abortion law, connue as Senate Bill 8, amounts to an almost total ban on abortion in the state. It bans most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape.
Citizens, not the state, will apply the law. The law effectively deputizes ordinary citizens - including those outside of Texas - allowing them to prosecute clinics and others who violate the law. He awards them at least $ 10,000 per illegal abortion if they are successful.
Patients cannotcannot be prosecuted. The law allows doctors, staff and even the Uber driver of a patient to become potential defendants.
The decision of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court just refused to be Wednesday before midnight to block a Texas law banning most abortions, less than a day after it went into effect and has become the most restrictive abortion measure in the country. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the three Liberal members of the court in disagreement.
In response to a question from a reporter, Mr Biden said on Friday that his administration was exploring deregulation to thwart Texas law.
"I was told that there were possibilities in existing law for the Ministry of Justice examines and sees if there are things that can be done that can limit the independent action of individuals, ”he said.
At the beginning of last week, Mr. Biden asked the White House Council Office and federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, to examine measures the federal government could take to protect "access to safe and legal abortions".
While the child FACE law enforcement could "improve the situation on the ground," said Wasserman, as the Biden administration "should find a different way to " the larger problem the Texas bill posed for abortion rights: the ability of any citizen to sue an abortion clinic or anyone else that helps with an abortion.
Dans his statement, Mr Garland added that the Justice Department was still "urgent" to explore "all options" to challenge the Texas law.