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The Biden administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block Texas abortion law Reuters


Reuters File Photo: A reproductive rights woman holds a sign outside the Texas State Capitol during a nationwide march, held after a total ban on access to Texas abortion procedures and abortion-induced toxins.

By Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a Texas law that would impose a complete ban on abortion after the lower court reintroduced Republican-backed measures.

The administration has asked the Supreme Court to quickly overturn a decision in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, to overturn a restraining order by a judge while the case continues.

The Justice Department told judges in a filing that the 5th Circuit’s move “enables the precedent of this court in Texas and the ongoing revocation of the constitutional rights of its citizens.”

The filing further states that “on the basis of the importance and urgency of the issues” the Supreme Court may decide to accept arguments and hear the case before the lower court issues its own final judgment.

One of the restrictive abortion laws passed at the state level in recent years is the Texas measure, which prohibits the procedure after about six weeks of gestation, a point when many women don’t even realize they are pregnant.

Judges allowed the law to take effect in a 5-4 decision late at night on Sept. 1.

The Texas measure is a recorded medical exception in cases of emergency but not in cases of rape or incest. It empowers private citizens to apply it with the power to sue anyone who abuses or assists a woman to have an abortion after cardiac activity has been detected in the fetus. This feature has helped prevent the law from being blocked immediately, making it more difficult to sue the state directly.

Critics of the law say the provision allows people to act as anti-abortion donor hunters, a feature that its proponents reject.

The Supreme Court has a -3–3 conservative majority.

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