Biden administration urges appeals court to stop Texas abortion law

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The Biden administration has asked a federal appeals court to stop a Texas abortion law from taking effect.

The Justice Department filed its argument late Monday after the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily reinstated the law, the latest in a series of developments that have led to abortion providers in Texas closing and opening their doors with each decision.

A lower court had moved to suspend the law earlier this month. But Texas appealed, and the New Orleans-based appeals court on Friday allowed the state to resume banning most abortions.

The Texas law bars abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, as early as about six weeks and in some cases before a person knows they are pregnant. It allows people to sue abortion providers for up to $10,000 in damages.

More: Getting an abortion while trans was always hard. In Texas, a new law puts outsized burdens on them

The law took effect in early September. Some abortion clinics reopened after a federal judge temporarily halted enforcement of the law. On Friday, the appeals court issued a temporary order allowing the law to take effect until a more permanent decision comes.

With each decision, abortion providers in Texas have had to decide whether to resume operations or remain closed.

“Texas defends its novel scheme by invoking state sovereignty. But state sovereignty does not encompass the authority to defy the Federal Constitution,” the Biden administration wrote in its response Monday. “If Texas’s scheme is permissible, no constitutional right is safe from state-sanctioned sabotage of this kind.”

The Justice Department had until Tuesday to respond.

Demonstrators rally against anti-abortion and voter suppression laws at the Texas State Capitol on October 2, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
Demonstrators rally against anti-abortion and voter suppression laws at the Texas State Capitol on October 2, 2021 in Austin, Texas.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas: DOJ asks federal appeals court to stop new abortion law

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