Instead of enforcing the law, the state of Texas “has deputized ordinary citizens to serve as bounty hunters,” the Justice Department officials alleged in their complaint.
“It takes little imagination to discern Texas’s goal—to make it too risky for an abortion clinic to operate in the State,” the lawsuit argued. “Thus far, the law has had its desired effect. To date, abortion providers have ceased providing services prohibited by S.B. 8, leaving women in Texas unacceptably and unconstitutionally deprived of abortion services.”
Vice President Kamala Harris was scheduled to meet with “abortion and reproductive health providers and patients from Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and New Mexico” on Thursday afternoon, to discuss the Texas law.
"The right of women to make decisions about their own bodies is not negotiable," Harris said, according to the White House pool report of the meeting. "We need to codify Roe v. Wade."
In advance of the lawsuit on Thursday, one pro-life leader called it “anti-democracy.”
Pro-life leaders pointed out that the state legislature recently increased public benefits for low-income mothers, expanding Medicaid coverage for new mothers and funding the Alternatives to Abortion program.
“Texas is further leading in compassion for women and families with its $100 million Alternatives to Abortion state program and ten times as many pro-life pregnancy centers as abortion facilities,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, on Thursday.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, pointed to the bishops’ national outreach “Walking with Moms in Need” which helps parishes meet the needs of new and expecting mothers.
He cited the words of Pope Francis to say that “killing a child is never a solution to a problem.”
“Tragically, the President, Speaker of the House, and other public officials have responded with statements that ignore our nation’s sacred interest to protect the life and health of both mothers and their unborn children, instead responding with radical pledges to mobilize the full force of the federal government to block all efforts to protect the life of the child in the womb,” he stated.
“As Catholics, we are committed to working and praying for the conversion of minds and hearts so all people will respect the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death.”
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This article was updated on Sept. 9 with new information.