Joe Biden's government asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion law

the essential The law, at the heart of a fierce legal battle, prohibits abortion as soon as the embryo’s heartbeat is detectable, i.e. around six weeks of pregnancy, when the Most women do not yet know they are pregnant.

The government of Democratic President Joe Biden on Monday 18 formally asked the United States Supreme Court to block an extremely restrictive law on abortion in Texas. The law, at the heart of a fierce legal battle, prohibits abortion as soon as the embryo’s heartbeat is detectable, around six weeks of pregnancy, when most women are still unaware of being pregnant. It does not provide for an exception in the event of incest or rape.

To maintain it would amount to “perpetuating the irreparable harm now done to thousands of women in Texas who are denied their constitutional rights,” Acting United States Attorney General Brian Fletcher wrote in his argument. Brian Fletcher heads legal representation for the U.S. state.

The jurisprudence of the Supreme Court guarantees the right of women to have an abortion as long as the fetus is not viable, that is to say around 22 weeks of pregnancy. But the Texas text has a unique device: it entrusts citizens “exclusively” with the task of enforcing the measure by encouraging them to file a complaint against organizations or people who help women to have illegal abortions.

The Supreme Court, where the conservative judges are in the majority, had already been seized for the first time and had invoked these “new questions of procedure” to refuse, on September 1, to block the entry into force of the law. She had not commented on the substance.

The federal government then entered the legal arena, filing a lawsuit against Texas on its behalf. On October 6, a trial judge ruled in his favor and suspended the law, pending a review on the merits. “This court will not allow this shocking deprivation of such an important right to continue one more day,” Federal Judge Robert Pitman wrote.

Some clinics then resumed abortions beyond six weeks. But a few days later, a Louisiana-based appeals court known for its conservatism overturned Judge Pitman’s decision. The law thus remains in force for the moment as long as the procedure continues.

The Justice Department is now asking the Supreme Court to overturn Justice Pitman’s ruling. He had announced on Friday his intention to do so.

“Unconstitutional”

The high court could act in the coming days or weeks.

According to Joe Biden’s government, the Texas law is “clearly unconstitutional” because it runs counter to the iconic Roe V. Wade ruling of 1973.

In recent years, laws comparable to that of Texas have been passed by a dozen other conservative states and struck down in court for violating this jurisprudence.

When the High Court left Texan law in effect in September, following an appeal then brought by defenders of the right to abortion, President Joe Biden had cast strong words on the decision, calling it a ” insult to the rule of law “causing” chaos “.

According to Texas law, people bringing complaints against people facilitating abortions beyond six weeks can receive at least 10. 000 “restitution” dollars in the event of a conviction. Critics of the text see it as a “bonus” for denouncing.

Texas is the second most populous state in the country.

The Supreme Court is also due to review this fall a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

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