Texas Asks Supreme Court to Keep Abortion Ban in Place

© REUTERS / EVELYN HOCKSTEINA handmade anti-abortion sign faces a stretch of highway outside of Austin nearly a month after Texas enacted the strictest anti-abortion law in the United States, September, 29, 2021.
A handmade anti-abortion sign faces a stretch of highway outside of Austin nearly a month after Texas enacted the strictest anti-abortion law in the United States, September, 29, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.10.2021
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The Justice Department previously suspended the controversial legislation, which was appealed by the state authorities, but eventually dismissed. It is now for the Supreme Court to decide whether it is constitutional.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the US Supreme Court on Thursday to keep in place the state's law that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, i.e. when a "heartbeat" —an embryo's cardiac activity — can be detected.
In the filing, Paxton, along with other senior state officials, argues that the Justice Department has no constitutional right to sue Texas in federal court, citing an order by a three-judge panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals that brought the ban back after a lower-court judge suspended it.
The federal government "is not adverse to Texas merely because it thinks a Texas law is unconstitutional," it reads. "The federal government cannot get an abortion, and the Constitution does not assign it any special role to protect any putative right to abortion."
The court filing comes in response to the Biden administration calling on the Supreme Court to block the controversial law. Paxton earlier vowed to fight for Texas' freedom from "federal overreach."
The Authority of Law statue is pictured outside the U.S. Supreme Court building as rulings are expected to be released today in Washington, D.C., U.S. June 25, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
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The "heartbeat" legislation has divided Texans into those who are either "pro-life" or "pro-choice", prompting nationwide protests. On October 4 alone, 660 demonstrations were held across the United States in support of the procedure.
Pro-abortion activists say prohibiting terminations after six weeks basically amounts to a full ban on abortion, as women usually get them later than that. Reports say women have already started to cross the border into other states seeking the procedure, as abortions have decreased almost 80% in Texas since the legislation took effect in September.
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