The Biden administration on Thursday sued Texas, seeking to block enforcement of a new law almost entirely banning abortion in the state, as Democrats fear the right to abortion, established 50 years ago, may be at risk.
President Joe Biden has warned the law would cause "unconstitutional chaos” because it relies on private citizens to enforce it by filing civil lawsuits against people who help a woman obtain an abortion after six weeks, whether it be a doctor who performs the procedure or a taxi driver who drives a woman to a clinic.
The law allows the people who sue to receive bounties of at least $10,000 and makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest, although there are some very narrowly defined exemptions for the mother's health. Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott defended the law this week, saying that the state would "eliminate all rapists."
"The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that Texas cannot ... deprive individuals of their constitutional rights by adopting a statutory scheme designed specifically to evade traditional mechanisms of federal judicial review," the Justice Department said in a filing in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas.
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