Biden administration asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Because a previous request from abortion providers for an urgent order to block the law was rejected by the justices 5-4, it appears that the new request will face a difficult battle at the high courts.
The Biden administration however argued that the new request is more solid for technical reasons. Fletcher stated that although the doctrine of sovereign immunity had undercut the case against abortion providers, it does not prevent the suit being filed by the Justice Department last week.

Fletcher stated that this suit doesn't raise these questions since it was brought against Texas and Texas has no immunity from suits by US.

The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals plans to hold oral arguments on the Texas law in December, right around the time the Supreme Court is set to take up Mississippis 15-week abortion ban and the fate of the nearly-half-century-old precedent guaranteeing abortion rights, Roe vs. Wade.

In the days and weeks ahead, the high court will likely act on the latest request to suspend enforcement of the Texas ban. For now, almost all abortions in Texas have been halted. This means that those with the financial resources can travel outside the state to undergo the procedure.

After the court failed to rule on an emergency motion by abortion providers before the law's effective date, Texas' abortion ban went into effect September 1. The formal rejection of the request was only revealed by the high court in the early hours the next day.

Texas became the first state to ban abortion in early pregnancy after 1973, when the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutionally permissible.

Because the Texas law is enforced by private parties and not state or local prosecutors, it was difficult to overturn in court. Proponents call the measure a heartbeat law. It prohibits abortions at any time that cardiac activity is detected in the fetus, typically six weeks after the start of pregnancy.

If a lawsuit is filed under the statute, anyone who assists someone in getting an abortion can face a minimum of $10,000. Most abortion providers in the state have stopped providing abortions due to the threat of such suits, and some of them were actually filed in court.

Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, is one of the largest forces behind the law. They claim that because of this unique enforcement mechanism, they are confident the law can withstand any legal challenge and will succeed where other states' heartbeat bills have failed.

On Oct. 6, Austin-based U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman temporarily blocked the statute, but it was restored by a 5th Circuit panel 48 hours later. Clinics claimed that the statute caused chaos for patients throughout the state.

Helene Krasnoff, of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, stated that more than 20 Planned Parenthood patients had their urgent care taken away by Planned Parenthood health centres after the Fifth Circuit panel overturned the preliminary injunction. They had had access to the services for less than 24 hours prior. We appreciate the Department of Justice's quick response to the Supreme Court's request to intervene.

It does not provide any exemptions for victims who have been raped or incest. Patients as young as 12 can now seek abortion clinics in nearby states, hours away from their homes.