Washington D.C., Oct 18, 2021 / 12:05 pm
The US Department of Justice on Monday asked the Supreme Court to block a Texas pro-life law, in effect since September, which bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat and relies on private lawsuits filed by citizens to enforce the ban.
In an application to the Supreme Court delivered Oct. 18, the Justice Department argued that Texas had circumvented the Supreme Court’s rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The department asked the Supreme Court to vacate a recent ruling by an appeals court, which reinstated the law after a temporary blockage by a lower court.
The Texas Heartbeat Act, also known as Senate Bill 8, prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected— around six weeks gestation— except in medical emergencies.
“Thus far, S.B. 8 has worked exactly as intended: Except for the few days the preliminary injunction was in place, S.B. 8’s in terrorem effect has made abortion effectively unavailable in Texas after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. Texas has, in short, successfully nullified this Court’s decisions within its borders,” acting Solicitor General Brian Fletcher wrote on behalf of the Justice Department.