Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Texas in response to a state law banning abortions after six weeks’ gestation.
Texas’s Senate Bill 8 , also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, prohibits abortion after six weeks’ gestation unless a woman’s life is in danger. The law has another controversial provision permitting any person to bring a civil action against anyone who performs an abortion procedure or “aids or abets” such a procedure after six weeks.
Garland said at a press conference that S.B. 8 is “clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent.”
“The obvious and expressly acknowledged intention of this statutory scheme is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights by thwarting judicial review for as long as possible,” Garland said.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit argues that S.B. 8 comes