Justice Department Will ‘Protect’ Women Seeking Abortions Under Texas Abortion Ban

Topline
After Texas passed a restrictive abortion law last week, the U.S. Justice Department stated Monday that it will not tolerate violence against women who seek to have an abortion. It also said that Texas has no health care facilities providing abortions. The department is exploring legal options to challenge the law and protect women's constitutional rights.

WASHINGTON DC - August 05: U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland announced a federal investigation... [+] of Phoenix City and Phoenix Police Department at a news conference held at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on August 05th, 2021. Garland stated that the Justice Department has launched a pattern or practise investigation into the City of Phoenix, and the Phoenix Police Department in order to determine whether they have violated federal laws. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images). Getty Images

The Key Facts

According to the Justice Department, it will continue to enforce the federal law, known as Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. This law prohibits threats to or use of force to harm, intimidate, or interfere with anyone seeking to have an abortion or providing services to them. It also prohibits anyone from deliberately damaging facilities providing reproductive health services. The Justice Department announced that it will provide federal law enforcement assistance in Texas. It has already discussed enforcement with U.S. Attorneys Offices in Texas and FBI field offices. This announcement comes just days after President Joe Biden ordered his administration to take action to combat Texas' abortion law. The Justice Department said it will provide federal law enforcement support in Texas and has already discussed enforcement with U.S. Attorneys Offices and FBI field offices in the state.

Important Quote

U.S. Attorney Merrick B. Garland stated in a statement that violence against people seeking reproductive health services or property damage under the FACE Act will not be tolerated.

Important Background

Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed the Texas restrictive abortion law. Greg Abbott (R), signed the Texas new restrictive abortion law in May. It went into effect Wednesday after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the law to go into effect. After signs of a fetal beat are detected, the law prohibits abortion. This can be done by an ultrasound within six weeks. Private citizens can also help enforce the ban on abortion by filing a lawsuit against anyone aiding or abetting abortions, up to $10,000. Biden attacked the law, claiming that it violated constitutional rights under Roe V. Wade. He also stated that his administration would protect and defend those rights.

Tangent

Private companies also spoke out against Texas' restrictive abortion law. Lyft and Uber, both rideshare companies, announced that they will pay legal fees to any driver who is sued by a passenger for transporting them to a clinic for an abortion. This can be considered aiding or abetting abortions under Texas law. Match and Bumble, dating apps, said that they would create funds to assist Texans in accessing abortion services.

Additional Background

Biden pledges action against Texas abortion ban with whole-of-government effort (Forbes).

Texas now has the most restrictive abortion law in America. Here's what could happen next (Forbes).

Uber and Lyft Offer to Pay Legal Fees for Drivers Sued under Texas Abortion Law (Forbes).

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