DOJ vows to guard individuals who see abortions
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced Monday it would protect people’s access to abortion in Texas despite a new state law banning the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy.
Attorney General Merrick Garland made a statement saying the agency will “continue to protect those who use reproductive health services under our criminal and civil enforcement of a law known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act or want to offer “.
“The department will assist federal law enforcement agencies if an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is attacked,” Garland said. “We reached out to US attorneys and FBI offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement agencies.”
The statements come days after the Supreme Court enacted the controversial Texas abortion law. The law, one of the most restrictive in the country, prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks after pregnancy and before many people realize they are pregnant. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
Texas law also allows individuals, abortion providers, and anyone involved in “promoting and inciting” abortion to sue.
More:What You Should Know About Texas Abortion Act, which prohibits the procedure once a heartbeat is detected
More:Texas law, which bans most abortions, goes into effect as the Supreme Court is expected to delve into broader issues
Abortion providers say legislation would restrict 85% of abortion procedures in Texas. The law is one of the most direct challenges related to the landmark Roe v. Wade of the US Supreme Court in 1973 that legalized abortion.
Garland said the department would “not condone or offer violence against those seeking reproductive health services, physical disabilities, or property damage in violation” of the Hospital Entrance Free Access Act, which prohibits the use or threat of violence and physical disability injures, intimidates, or disables a person trying to use or offer reproductive health services.
The FACE Act also prohibits willful property damage to an institution that provides reproductive health services.
President Joe Biden said last week that in response to the Supreme Court decision not to block the law, he would launch a “state effort” to instruct the Gender Policy Council and the White House Legal Team to work with federal agencies to determine What Legal tools are available to ensure that women have access to safe and legal abortions.
Featuring: Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY