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Biden government to ask Supreme Court to block Texas abortion law

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The government of Democratic President Joe Biden is not done with Texas and its abortion law. “The Department of Justice intends to ask the Supreme Court” to intervene again on this law which has banned most abortions in this vast state for a month and a half, its spokesman Anthony Coley said on Friday. .

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, and does not plan to exception in cases of incest or rape. Comparable laws have been struck down in court because they violate Supreme Court case law, which guarantees the right of women to have an abortion as long as the fetus is not viable, i.e. around 22 weeks of pregnancy.

A long legal battle

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But the text of Texas 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 have a clear majority, invoked these “new procedural questions” to refuse, on September 1, to block the entry into force of the law. 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 days later, a Louisiana-based appeals court known for its conservatism overturned Judge Pitman’s ruling. On Thursday, she confirmed that the law can remain in force as long as the proceedings continue.

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The Department of Justice now intends to ask the Supreme Court to reinstate Judge Pitman’s decision. He should formally address his appeal to him in the coming days. The decision of the high court will be closely followed. His initial refusal to intervene was seen as evidence of a “turn to the right” under the aegis of judges appointed by former President Donald Trump and, in early October, thousands of abortion rights advocates joined in. manifested in front of his seat to ask him to change his foot.

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