The US Department of Justice has launched a legal action against Texas’ Heartbeat Act, which defends the unborn in the womb.
The details of the action led by US Attorney General Merrick Garland have yet to be revealed, but legal experts believe it could include attempts to reduce federal funding for Texas or open government facilities to perform abortions in the state.
The move follows President Biden’s vow to “launch a whole-of-government effort to respond to the decision” earlier this month.
The Texas Heartbeat Act came into effect on 1 September, after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 against blocking the legislation, which outlaws abortions from around six weeks except in medical emergencies.
In response, the White House claimed abortion was a constitutional right, with Vice President Kamala Harris adding that its support for passing the 1973 Supreme Court precedent Roe v. Wade into federal law was “unequivocal”.
In contrast, Texas Right to Life said the new law represents a “phenomenal victory for tens of thousands of preborn children who will be spared the evil of abortion”.
The Act also allows private lawsuits to be launched by any citizen against abortion providers or anyone else who may have helped someone to obtain an unlawful abortion.