Justice Department seeks order to stop enforcement of Texas abortion law
The Justice Department has asked a federal court in Texas to stop the enforcement of a new state law that bans most abortions in the state while it decides the case.
The Texas law, known as SB8, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity — usually around six weeks, before some women know they’re pregnant. Courts have blocked other states from imposing similar restrictions, but Texas’ law differs significantly because it leaves enforcement to private citizens through civil lawsuits instead of criminal prosecutors.
The law went into effect earlier this month after the Supreme Court declined an emergency appeal from abortion providers asking that the law be stayed.
In Tuesday night’s emergency motion in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, the Justice Department said “a court may enter a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction as a means of preventing harm to the movant before the court can fully adjudicate the claims in dispute.”
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