Anti-Abortion Act in the US: Washington vs. Texas

US Attorney General Merrick Garland considers the Texan abortion ban from the 6th week an “intrigue”. He wants to bring down the law.

Willing to take action centrally against Texas’ anti-abortion law: US Attorney General Merrick Garland Photo: rtr

NEW YORK taz | US Attorney General Merrick Garland has initiated proceedings against the state of Texas for “openly disregarding fundamental rights” and an “intrigue to deny women access to abortion”. Its aim is to overturn the Texas Law 8, which came into force last week.

At a press conference in Washington on Thursday, Garland stated that he was not only interested in the right to abortion. “The attempt to repeal the US Constitution must worry all Americans, regardless of party affiliation or politics,” he said, warning that it could become a model for suspending fundamental rights in other areas and in other states.

Feminists and family planning centers have urged the US government in the preceding days to crack down on the law. On Thursday evening they reacted with relief. “This is a turning point,” said Nancy Northup. She is the president of the “Center for Reproductive Rights“, The organization of which has also bundled the pending lawsuits against the law from several clinics. Brigitte Amiri, spokeswoman for the civil rights group ACLU, commented more cautiously: “This is welcome news”.

Elizabeth Graham of the Texas Right to Life organization, whose long-standing lobbying process led to the most radical law restricting the right to abortion, predicted a failure of the trial: “The attorney general will find that the law cannot be stopped”. Your organization is already advising other Republican states on ways to introduce the law into their home.

Women stand in front of closed doors

In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who signed the law a week ago in the presence of eight women and more than 40 mostly white men, is resisting criticism that it does not allow abortion even for victims of violence and incest : “We are going to eliminate the rapists from the streets of Texas”.

Across Texas, the law has already resulted in most unintentionally pregnant women standing in front of closed doors. You cannot get abortions or information about abortion options in other states. Both are punishable.

The two dozen hospitals across the state that performed abortions through the end of August are either closed or focusing on the few abortions before the sixth week of pregnancy. Before the law, 85 percent of all abortions in Texas did not take place until after the sixth week of pregnancy.

Proponents of the law call it the “Heartbeat Law”. It prohibits abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be measured, which usually happens in the sixth week – at a time when many women are unaware that they are pregnant.

This tight time limit contradicts the fundamental decision of the Supreme Court from 1973. In order to still enforce their “heartbeat law”, the Texan “life protectors” found the trick of not working with investigative authorities but with citizens. Anyone who finds out about an abortion can report the doctors and anyone else – including relatives and taxi drivers – who played a role in bringing about an abortion. Rewards of $ 10,000 or more await the informers.


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