The U.S flag and the Texas State flag fly over the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas, March 14, 2017. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
The Justice Department has asked U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to halt the implementation of Texas’s law prohibiting abortions upon detection of a fetal heartbeat, or as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
“By both defying the Constitution and frustrating judicial review, Texas has not merely protracted its assault on the rights of its citizens; it has repudiated its obligations under our national compact in a manner that directly implicates sovereign interests of the United States,” the Department claimed in a court filing on Monday.
“If Texas’s scheme is permissible, no constitutional right is safe from state-sanctioned sabotage of this kind,” it stated.
The Texas law, known as S.B. 8, instead of outright banning abortions after six weeks, permits residents to sue anyone who aids a woman in procuring an abortion for at least $10,000 in damages. Women who have had an abortion performed, however, are immune. The Justice Department sued the state of Texas on September 9 in an attempt to strike down the law.