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U.S. Attorney General vows to protect women’s rights in Texas abortion clinics

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The U.S. Department of Justice pledges to protect women seeking abortions in Texas State law in force The procedure was banned last week after six weeks of pregnancy.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Monday that his office is “urgently” reviewing its options to challenge Texas legislation.

He also promised to cooperate with the FBI to respond to any threats to abortion clinics and cited the FACE Act, a federal law that prohibits attacks on facilities that provide reproductive health services.

“We will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services in accordance with our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act,” Garland said in a statement. statement.

The Texas legislation, called SB8, Inspire private citizens Prosecute anyone who provides or assists in an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

This enforcement mechanism is clearly designed to evade judicial challenges under the federal privacy right, which allows abortion within 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest judicial body in the United States, Refuse to block SB8 Although acknowledging that “there are serious problems with the constitutionality of Texas law”, it will not take effect.

The ruling stated that the new method of the law made it unclear who was enforcing it, and emphasized that “the Federal Court has the power to order individuals who enforce the law, not the law itself.”

President Joe Biden slammed the decision last week, calling it an “unprecedented violation of women’s constitutional rights.”

“By allowing a law to go into effect, ordinary citizens of Texas have the right to sue health care providers, family members who support a woman to exercise her right of choice after six weeks, and even friends who drive her to a hospital or clinic for violations. The chaos of the constitution has a devastating effect on self-anointed law enforcement officials,” the White House said in a statement.

For his part, Garland said on Monday that the federal government “will not tolerate violence against those who seek or provide reproductive health services, physical disabilities, or property damage in violation of the FACE Act.”

On Monday, the office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

American citizens and immigrant rights groups condemned the Texas law, saying that black women and other minorities and members of low-income communities would be hit hardest by the ban.

Julia Kaye, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, Told Al Jazeera last week After the law went into effect, “disruption and chaos” prevailed in the state.

“There are thousands of pregnant Texans sitting at the kitchen table, trying to calculate the numbers and figure out how they might travel hundreds of miles from outside the state to get time-sensitive medical services,” Kay said .

For its part, the Texas Immigration Support Center Refugee and Immigration Education and Legal Services (RAICES) said it will not abide by what it calls “outdated and sex-discriminatory laws.”

“RAICES has provided assistance and financial support to immigrants seeking abortions in Texas for many years, and will continue to do so-anyway,” said Jonathan Ryan, the group’s chief executive officer and president, in a statement. statement last week.

“We stand with the local reproductive justice organization in Texas, and we once again pledge to continue our efforts to help people get safe and legal abortions,” he said.



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