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Justice Department again presses to halt Texas abortion law

44 Comments
By PAUL J. WEBER

The Biden administration is again urging the courts to step in and suspend a new Texas law that has banned most abortions since early September, as clinics hundreds of miles away remain busy with Texas patients making long journeys to get care.

The latest attempt Monday came three days after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the nation's most restrictive abortion law after a brief 48-hour window last week in which Texas abortion providers — following a blistering ruling by a lower court — had rushed to bring in patients again.

The days ahead could now be key in determining the immediate future of the law known as Senate Bill 8, including whether there is another attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court weigh in.

The law bans abortions in Texas once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually at six weeks and before some women even know they are pregnant. Although other GOP-controlled states have had similar early bans on abortions blocked by courts, the Texas law has proved durable because the state offloads enforcement solely onto private citizens, who can collect at least $10,000 in damages if they successfully sue abortion providers.

“If Texas’s scheme is permissible, no constitutional right is safe from state-sanctioned sabotage of this kind,” the Justice Department told the appeals court.

In wording that seemed to be a message to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department raised the specter that if allowed to stand, the legal structure created in enacting the law could be used to circumvent even the Supreme Court’s rulings in 2008 and 2010 on gun rights and campaign financing.

It is not clear when the 5th Circuit court will decide whether to extend what is currently a temporary order allowing the Texas law to stand. The court gave the Texas attorney's general office until Thursday to respond to the Justice Department's latest arguments.

Just as some Texas abortion providers last week quickly moved to once again perform abortions for patients past six weeks, the New Orleans-based appeals court set that order aside while it reviews the case. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in Texas, relayed to the court in a separate filing Monday night numerous stories of Texas women impacted by the law, including one patient who they said was only 12 years old.

"Oklahoma staff are working overtime to care for Texas patients denied abortions," attorneys for Planned Parenthood told the court.

The Texas law is the nation’s biggest curb to abortion since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision nearly a half-century ago. A 1992 decision by the Supreme Court prevented states from banning abortion before viability, the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb, around 24 weeks of pregnancy. But the Texas law has so far evaded being blocked by courts because of its novel enforcement scheme.

The Biden administration sued Texas over the law last month after it went into effect. Texas officials have defended the restrictions, which were signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, saying they have no ability to stop private individuals from bringing lawsuits.

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©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments

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This ridiculous affront to the privacy rights of women is par for the course for hypocritical republicans/“conservatives.”

A fetus is not viable outside of the womb until 20-24 weeks, which is part of the rationale underpinning Rie declaring banning abortions after the first trimester does not unconstitutionally infringe on the privacy rights if women.

”Late-term” abortions are banned in all but 8 states and D.C. They are not utilized as often as the alarmists would have us believe.

Nobody enjoys getting an abortion, but the right would have us believe it’s like Disneyland for too many.

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*Roe

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Let's set aside for a moment that this law is laughably unconstitutional as the law currently stands.

Let's just look at the politics of it. Texas and Abbot are driving hoards of women into the arms of the Democrats and they will vote on this issue.

Anti-choice nuts have been chasing this car for 50 years. They may have caught it. Good luck with that.

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This ridiculous affront to the privacy rights of women is par for the course for hypocritical republicans/“conservatives.”

If the mother has a right to privacy shouldn’t female babies also have a right to privacy? If these females have a heartbeat and brain function and are sentient beings like their mother, they should at least be given the right to legal representation before being terminated.

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One needs look no farther than the vigilante portion of this "law" to see that it is a laughably absurd attempt to get around the courts and insulate the state from being sued over a low IT ENACTED.

IF this were to be upheld, Liberals could create all kinds of vigilante laws creating bounties on any type of behavior which is legal but that they disagree with.

Not the kind of precedent that SCOTUS would really like to have in place.

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@GdTokyo: Anti-choice nuts have been chasing this car for 50 years. They may have caught it. Good luck with that.

There have been many times in history when opposition to inhumanity towards others has been unpopular and driven the Democrats electoral success. For example their support for slavery, Jim Crow, eugenics, and segregation have elevated many Democrats into positions of power. So yes, the Democrat party, now pretty much a death cult, hasn’t changed much.

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And they’re probably going to fail again.

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And they’re probably going to fail again.

Your clairvoyance has adopted an element of cautious uncertainty of late.

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Let's set aside for a moment that this law is laughably unconstitutional as the law currently stands.

the court didn’t agree with this claim, did it? I didn’t hear that they laughed about it either.

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Wolfpack

There have been many times in history when opposition to inhumanity towards others has been unpopular and driven the Democrats electoral success. For example their support for slavery, Jim Crow, eugenics, and segregation have elevated many Democrats into positions of power.

Yes, and there was a time when people thought it was perfectly normal to deny women autonomy over their own bodies. Thankfully, we live in more enlightened times.

So yes, the Democrat party, now pretty much a death cult, hasn’t changed much.

This isn't a Democrat / Republican thing. A majority of both Democrats and Republicans support abortion.

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Wolfpack

If the mother has a right to privacy shouldn’t female babies also have a right to privacy? If these females have a heartbeat and brain function and are sentient beings like their mother, they should at least be given the right to legal representation before being terminated.

Not according to the constitution.

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WolfpackToday  08:17 am JST

> > If the mother has a right to privacy shouldn’t female babies also have a right to privacy? If these females have a heartbeat and brain function and are sentient beings like their mother, they should at least be given the right to legal representation before being terminated.

Do you also agree that fetuses in the womb should have causes of action for negligence against their parents for injuries suffered during gestation?

Exactly how far do you want to go in controlling women’s bodies?

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BlacklabelToday  08:59 am JST

> the court didn’t agree with this claim, did it? I didn’t hear that they laughed about it either.

The court didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the law.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/texas-wins-bid-reinstate-abortion-law-challenged-by-biden-administration-2021-10-09/

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I support the woman's right to choose what happens to her body. The Texas law is cruel and includes victims of rape and incest. Men and women are not equal in Texas.

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Women already have plenty of choices- abstinence, birth control, motherhood, adoption. Why do they need yet another choice, especially when that choice clearly leads to disparate outcomes in the BIPOC community? It truly seems to be fulfilling the eugenic fantasies of Margaret Sanger.a

Men, by contrast, have no choice. They are at the mercy of whatever decision the woman makes. What if the father-to-be wants to raise the child? Shouldn't the temporary inconvenience of carrying out the pregnancy (which the woman tacitly agreed to by having consensual sex) be outweighed by the rights of the baby and father?

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The court didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the law.

oh, like when courts ruled only that there was no standing and you made this same distinction?

Oh wait....Except that you didnt do that.

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Attilathehungry

Women already have plenty of choices- abstinence, birth control, motherhood, adoption. Why do they need yet another choice,

Because it's their body. Who are you to decide which choices women have...

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Hindsights- the difference is that the fifth choice (abortion) ends another life. The four choices I suggested do not.

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Attilathehungry

Hindsights- the difference is that the fifth choice (abortion) ends another life. The four choices I suggested do not.

I note you didn't use the words human life. Because the constitution doesn't see it as such and abortion isn't murder.

Therefore no reason for you to limit that constitutional choice from someone else.

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There is no reason for me to try and limit a person from taking another's life? Are you serious? You can dance around the turd all you want, but that is in effect what you are saying.

I will let the lawyers and judges do their thing and accept the results. I am not a fan of the Texas law, I think it goes too far and too fast, but the essential issue is about life and when it begins.

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Attilathehungry

Women already have plenty of choices-

abstinence: Tell that to a rapist that you are abstaining from sex. The basic human need is very strong.

birth control: Not always 100% effective. Rapists do not use birth control.

motherhood: If planned. Planned parenthood. An unborn child could have very serious health problems when born.

adoption: Very emotional for most mothers wondering if they made the right decision.

No category for victims of rape and incest.

A child born from rape allows for the rapist to have access to his child.

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Your clairvoyance has adopted an element of cautious uncertainty of late.

No, just using history as a marking indicator.

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Zichi, as I said, not a fan of the Texas law. I will grant the exceptions for rape and incest that seem to inform your position. Also for circumstances where the mother's life will be in danger by continuing the pregnancy.

Still my four choices are left. Do you disagree with them? They provide a range of viable actions for women that do not involve killing.

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Attilathehungry

Zichi, as I said, not a fan of the Texas law. I will grant the exceptions for rape and incest that seem to inform your position.

Also for circumstances where the mother's life will be in danger by continuing the pregnancy. 

What about when the fetus is badly deformed or probably severely disabled?

Still my four choices are left. Do you disagree with them? They provide a range of viable actions for women that do not involve killing.

I disagree with you 100% because I support the woman's right to decide what happens to her body and that would include abortion. But unless there are serious problems abortions should be limited to 20 weeks.

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Attilathehungry

Zichi, as I said, not a fan of the Texas law.

But that is the topic of the post and what we are discussing.

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Attilathehungry

There is no reason for me to try and limit a person from taking another's life? Are you serious? You can dance around the turd all you want, but that is in effect what you are saying.

No I'm not. I notice you don't say human life. It isn't a human life and it isn't murder. There is no dancing around this. The woman should be the sole person making this choice. Not you.

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Zichi, OK. Add foetal deformity/non-viability to the list of exceptions.

As I understand, you see viability at the 20 week point as the limit. So, women should not be allowed to obtain abortions after 20 weeks (except the unique circumstances we both agree on- rape, incest, danger to health, possible birth defect). Is that your position? If so, what should the penalties be for those who abort viable and healthy babies after that point?

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Attilathehungry

Zichi, OK. Add fetal deformity/non-viability to the list of exceptions.

You keep adding to your list so add the woman's right to choose.

The Texas anti-abortion law is very extreme by standards. It's a law made by men against the rights of Texas girls and women. A 13-year-old girl raped or victim of incest and becomes pregnant must have the child.

 If so, what should the penalties be for those who abort viable and healthy babies after that point?

It's not a baby until it's actually born and supporting itself with its own organs. There could be a stillbirth or even a late-stage miscarriage.

The penalties for an illegal abortion are already in place.

Ban all abortions and we will return to the backstreet abortionists and more females will die.

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Abortions have happened since the beginning of people.

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Abortions have happened since the beginning of people.

yes so has murder and racism and slavery and so many other things we dont support.

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Zichi, you are strawmanning vibrantly... never said "outlaw all abortions". Don't support the Texas bill. Already answered your hypothetical about the 13 year old victim- yes, she should be able to choose.

Babies must be fully self sustainable to be called "babies"? Those born who require medical intervention aren't babies? Stillbirths and miscarriages aren't part of the discussion but seem like a distraction.

This is one of those interesting topics (similar to voting rights) where Europe is far less, dare I say "liberal" than the US.

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Attilathehungry

Zichi, you are strawmanning vibrantly...

????????

never said "outlaw all abortions". Don't support the Texas bill. Already answered your hypothetical about the 13 year old victim- yes, she should be able to choose.

Then you believe the current Texas anti-abortion law should be appealed. The discussion is about that.

Babies must be fully self sustainable to be called "babies"? Those born who require medical intervention aren't babies? Stillbirths and miscarriages aren't part of the discussion but seem like a distraction. 

A fetus becomes a baby once born outside of the supporting mother's womb.

The discussion is what is happening in the woman's womb and up to the time of birth.

This is one of those interesting topics (similar to voting rights) where Europe is far less, dare I say "liberal" than the US.

I do not understand you here? Europe is less liberal than the US.

I think you are Australian, maybe wrong?

Abortion in Australia is legal. It has been fully decriminalized in all jurisdictions, starting with Western Australia in 1998 and lastly in South Australia in 2021. In many places, up to 20 weeks.

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Blacklabel

Abortions have happened since the beginning of people.

yes so has murder and racism and slavery and so many other things we dont support.

Sex, prostitution, abortions, murders, and many other deeds have existed since the beginning of time and laws do not end them. America executes people but people still murder.

Abortions will continue regardless of the laws in healthy clean safe clinics or in the dirty back streets.

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Does anyone here even support the law as it's written? With no exceptions for rape and incest, and people suing other people?

I know some people are against abortion.....but is this what you wanted?

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No, just using history as a marking indicator.

That’s what I do whenever I see one of your predictions, it’s pretty fail safe.

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Not read about a single abortion suing case being brought to court and successful.

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Repubs and Trump supporters on vaccine and mask mandates;

"Give me my freedom - the government has no authority over my health choices"...

"What I do to my body is between my doctor and me - not government"....

"Bottomline: My Body, My Choice!"....

OK, so what about a woman's right to choose regarding her pregnancy - her body, her choice, right?

"Well....uh....er....but....ummm...."

Utter hypocrites...

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Women have the choice for their body especially when the condom broke!

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The law removes the onus of the lawmakers to the private citizens and makes them the anti-abortion police.

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If the Texas politicians believed in anti-abortion then they should make the law and claim all responsibilities for it. They should not ask private citizens to do their work for them.

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This is rather a personal point for me as I was adopted in Massachusetts in 1965, when abortion was illegal, and raised by a singly mother. On one hand, I'm grateful to my birth mother for my life; on the other, should she have had the ability to choose otherwise, I would have understood (had I been sentient). Identifying paternity and requiring the father take a financial and active roll in raising a child would likely change Texas opinions rapidly.

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Utter hypocrites...

Liberals the last people to call anyone a hypocrite. Lol

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Utter hypocrites...

Liberals the last people to call anyone a hypocrite. Lol

Lol...."My Body, My Choice", right?

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liberals and their "slogans" presented with lack context and that are a product of binary thinking.

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