United States President Joe Biden has launched a “whole-of-government” response to oppose a new law in Texas that bans nearly all abortions after the Supreme Court decided not to block it.
Biden announced in a statement on Sept. 2 that he has directed the Gender Policy Council and the Office of the White House Counsel to look specifically into the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Justice Department to evaluate what steps the federal government can take and what legal tools can be used “to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas’ bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties.”
Senate Bill 8 (SB8) in Texas took effect last Sept. 1 and it prohibits abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy — a time before many women discover they are pregnant.
Abortion rights advocates had asked the Supreme Court to block the law, but the high court refused with a 5-4 ruling.
Biden described the Supreme Court ruling as “an unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights” and that it “unleashes unconstitutional chaos and empowers self-anointed enforcers to have devastating impacts.”
In a statement on Sept. 1, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra described SB8 as “dangerous and dubious.”
“The burdens of this law descend disproportionately upon low-income families and communities of color. The 21st century must be about protecting and expanding Americans’ health care, not illegally and discriminatorily denying it,” Becerra said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the Justice Department was “deeply concerned” about SB8.
“We are evaluating all options to protect the constitutional rights of women, including access to an abortion,” Garland further said.
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