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Abortion Law In Texas Is Lambasted By Biden
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President Joe Biden criticized the Supreme Court for its ruling allowing a Texas law that will ban most abortions in the state to take effect, saying that it is an “unprecedented assault” on women’s constitutional right to abortion that has been in place for nearly 50 years.

He said it unleashed unconstitutional chaos and empowered self-appointed enforcing officials to block abortions in the southwestern state, the second largest in the country.

Texas is among a dozen mostly Republican-led states that have outlawed abortions once the rhythmic activity of fetal heart tissue is detected, usually at six weeks, and sometimes before a woman realizes she is pregnant.

  
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Historically, courts have blocked such bans, stating that they did not conform to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, giving women in the U.S. the constitutional right to an abortion without excessive government interference.

Private citizens are allowed to enforce the Texas anti-abortion law by suing anyone who has assisted or abetted an abortion after six weeks by suing abortion providers and anyone else. Those who win such lawsuits would be entitled to at least $10,000.

Biden declared, “Complete strangers will now be empowered to inject themselves in the most private and personal health decisions faced by women. This law is so extreme it does not even allow for exceptions in the case of rape or incest.” He contended that the possibility of winning damages “actually incentivizes” people to bring lawsuits.

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In an unsigned order, the Supreme Court majority said the challengers did not meet the high burden necessary to prevent the law from taking effect while leaving open the possibility that it might face other legal challenges.

“In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit,” the order said. “In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts.”



Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s three liberal justices in opposing the ruling. To allow the Texas law to take effect, five conservative justices – Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh – were appointed to the court by former President Donald Trump.

Dissenting from the majority opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the law “immediately prohibits care for at least 85% of Texas abortion patients” and is “clearly unconstitutional under existing precedents.”

“Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” Sotomayor said.

The Texas law went into effect at the beginning of the day, and supporters praised the Supreme Court for not blocking it before it issued its order.

“Undoubtedly, today is a historic and hopeful day,” said Chelsey Youman, an official with the Human Coalition Action group in Texas that worked for the passage of the law. “Texas is the first state to successfully protect the most vulnerable among us, preborn children, by outlawing abortion once their heartbeats are detected.”

Providers of abortion in Texas, such as Planned Parenthood and Whole Women’s Health, have announced that they will no longer terminate pregnancies more than six weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period.

While Biden criticized the law in a statement after the Supreme Court did not block it from taking effect, he criticized the court itself once its 5-4 ruling was made public.

“For the majority to do this without a hearing, without the benefit of an opinion from a court below, and without due consideration of the issues, insults the rule of law and the rights of all Americans to seek redress from our courts,” Biden said.

“Rather than use its supreme authority to ensure justice could be fairly sought, the highest court of our land will allow millions of women in Texas in need of critical reproductive care to suffer while courts sift through procedural complexities,” he said.

Biden said he would direct his Gender Policy Council and White House counsel Dana Remus “to launch a whole-of-government effort to respond to this decision,” to see what the government can do to protect abortion access in Texas.

Another Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said, “The Supreme Court’s cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health is staggering. That this radically partisan court chose to do so without a full briefing, oral arguments or providing a full, signed opinion is shameful.”

House of Representatives will vote on enshrining abortion rights in U.S. law, Pelosi said.

There has been a lot of controversy in American politics about abortion rights.

Polls show most Americans support retaining the nearly five-decade-old Roe ruling, but conservative-dominated state legislatures have adopted a wide range of laws to limit abortions, with some anti-abortion lawmakers actively petitioning the Supreme Court to ban the procedure outright.

As part of its 6-to-3 conservative majority, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in October about a Mississippi law that prohibits most abortions after 15 weeks, well before viability.



 

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