DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday, Sept. 9, the Biden Administration has filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Texas claiming the state’s new fetal heartbeat law violates Roe Vs. Wade.
Garland said, “The Department of Justice has a duty to defend the Constitution of the United States and uphold the rule of law.”READ MORE: 'Emotions Matter' At Dallas ISD's Boude Storey Middle School As Students Climb Out Of 'COVID Slide'
The new law prohibits doctors from performing abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks when many women still don’t realize they are pregnant.
What’s different about the new law is that it doesn’t allow government entities to enforce it.
Instead, private citizens can do so by filing civil lawsuits against abortion providers and others, who can be fined $10,000 per abortion if they lose.
Garland said, “Nor one need think long and hard to realize the damage that would be done to our society if states were allowed to implement laws that empower private individual to infringe on another’s constitutionally-protected rights in this way.”
In Dallas Thursday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn was asked about the federal lawsuit and the new Texas law.
“The truth is the Texas law that was passed is going to in all likelihood be decided by a case the Supreme Court has already agreed to hear out of Mississippi, which gives a woman up to 15 weeks to have an abortion,” said Sen. Cornyn. “My suspicion is they will be the final word and not the Texas legislature on what the law is in this very controversial area.”READ MORE: 'Pure Evil', Accused Killer Jason Thornburg Spoke At Alleged Victim's Funeral
The Supreme Court will consider the Mississippi law in their new term that begins October 1.
The nation’s top court has considered the point of viability to be about 24 weeks.
Last week, the Supreme Court declined to block the Texas law.
Governor Greg Abbott’s Press Secretary Renae Eze said in a statement, “…Texas passed a law that ensures that the life of every child with a heartbeat will be spared from the ravages of abortion. Unfortunately, President Biden and his administration are more interested in changing the narrative from their disastrous Afghanistan evacuation and reckless open border policies instead of protecting the innocent unborn. We are confident that the courts will uphold and protect that right to life.”
Democratic Congressman Marc Veasey of Fort Worth said in a statement, “…The dangerously restrictive laws that have just passed in Texas strip our citizens of reproductive freedom and the freedom to vote.. Congress must also work alongside the Administration to quickly pass federal legislation to protect reproductive rights and the right to vote. The most crucial point is that these blatant attacks on our freedoms cannot deter us…”
Senator Cornyn called the Texas law “a novel approach” but had this to say when asked if he supports it.
“I’m not a member of the Texas legislature,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I recognize the final word is going to be the Supreme Court. I’m unapologetically pro-life. I believe In these cases you’re dealing with more than just one person and so the question is how do you balance and deal with the rights not only of the woman who’s seeking an abortion but also the unborn child.”MORE NEWS: Big Cowboys Win Means Massive Shopping Spree For Some
Legal experts have said there could be multiple challenges to the Texas law in the state and federal courts.