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Biden administration sues Texas over six-week abortion law

by Donna Birrell

The US justice department is suing the state of Texas over its law to ban abortions after six weeks.

It prohibits the procedure once a heartbeat can be detected in a foetus - often before some women know they're pregnant.

Last week, President Biden said the law would "unleash unconstitutional chaos" and asked the Federal Government to step in.

Speaking at a press conference at the Justice Department, Attorney General, Merrick Garland, says the administration is seeking a permanent injunction against it :

"Regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.

"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."

Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court refused to block the law which was passed by a 5-4 majority.

Public officials are barred from enforcing the law, but private citizens can sue anyone who assists a woman in receiving an abortion. And Texas residents can seek up to $10,000 from individuals who assist an abortion after a fetus reaches six weeks.

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