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Biden administration sues Texas over pro-life law

Matt Hadro   By Matt Hadro for CNA

President Biden addresses the 2021 National Prayer Breakfast . Credit: National Prayer Breakfast

Washington D.C., Sep 9, 2021 / 13:45 pm (CNA).

The Biden administration on Thursday sued Texas over its new law prohibiting most abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.

In a complaint filed in a federal district court in West Texas, the Justice Department said the state acted “in open defiance of the Constitution” in restricting “most pre-viability abortions.”

The complaint, reported by Bloomberg News, seeks a permanent injunction on state officials and “private parties who would bring suit under the law, from implementing or enforcing” the law.

The Texas Heartbeat Act, S.B. 8, requires doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion. If a heartbeat is detected – which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy – the law prohibits abortions except in medical emergencies.

However, the law is enforced through private civil lawsuits and not by the state.

Abortion providers challenged the law in court, but the Supreme Court on Sept. 1 denied their petition to block the law from going into effect.

In response, President Joe Biden called the law “an unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights,” and promised a “whole-of-government” effort to maintain abortion in Texas.

He directed federal agencies, including the Justice Department, to review what actions could be taken “to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe.”

Under the Texas law, plaintiffs may not sue women for illegal abortions. They may sue those who perform illegal abortions, and anyone who “knowingly” aids and abets an illegal abortion.

However, the law forbids those who impregnate women who then have abortions from bringing lawsuits in those cases.

Successful lawsuits can net at least $10,000 in damages under the law, plus court costs and attorney fees.

Instead of enforcing the law, the state of Texas “has deputized ordinary citizens to serve as bounty hunters,” the Justice Department officials alleged in their complaint.

“It takes little imagination to discern Texas’s goal—to make it too risky for an abortion clinic to operate in the State,” the lawsuit argued. “Thus far, the law has had its desired effect. To date, abortion providers have ceased providing services prohibited by S.B. 8, leaving women in Texas unacceptably and unconstitutionally deprived of abortion services.”

In advance of the lawsuit on Thursday, one pro-life leader called it “anti-democracy.”

Pro-life leaders pointed out that the state legislature recently increased public benefits for low-income mothers, expanding Medicaid coverage for new mothers and funding the Alternatives to Abortion program.

“Texas is further leading in compassion for women and families with its $100 million Alternatives to Abortion state program and ten times as many pro-life pregnancy centers as abortion facilities,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, on Thursday.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, pointed to the bishops’ national outreach “Walking with Moms in Need” which helps parishes meet the needs of new and expecting mothers.

He cited the words of Pope Francis to say that “killing a child is never a solution to a problem.”

“Tragically, the President, Speaker of the House, and other public officials have responded with statements that ignore our nation’s sacred interest to protect the life and health of both mothers and their unborn children, instead responding with radical pledges to mobilize the full force of the federal government to block all efforts to protect the life of the child in the womb,” he stated.

“As Catholics, we are committed to working and praying for the conversion of minds and hearts so all people will respect the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death.”

This article was updated on Sept. 9 with new information.

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  1. Biden should be excommunicated. He cannot claim to be Catholic while doing everything in his significant power to continue to legalize and promote the murdering of babies in the womb. This makes him a potential mass murderer.

  2. I would argue that Biden excommunicated himself by his own actions many years ago, and we are all patiently waiting for someone with the cojones to make it official. I for one cannot imagine ANY Catholic Priest or Bishop or Cardinal, even the Pope – who cannot see this. It is freely conceded that such an action would cause the excrement to hit the air circulator and this might be the single biggest reason that no one has done it, but that excuse is long past being a valid one.

    • Exactly. Consider the excrement McCarrick brought to the circular filing cabinet which is the USCCB. It sullies, stinks, and still coats their cloaks. Yet they continue to hold onto it. That speaks to their masculinity. NOT. And they think their wolf costumes fool anyone??? How very deluded, en masse, they are.

  3. And “devout Catholic” Joey, fingering the rosary in his pocket, will shuffle up to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist Sunday morning in a state of mortal sin. And his bishop will say, “The Body of Christ,” knowing the public stance of the “communicant” jeopardizes his soul. When he hears the “Amen,” or something close to “Amen,” he will smile and pat himself on the back for being an apolitical, good shepherd, having just mis-shepherded his flock.

  4. Without abortions, how will we ever get medical cures for the furture though?
    Seriously, the Church says that the Covid vaccines are good to go, morally speaking. Heck, the Pope has endorsed mandatory vaccines using HEK cell lines and the like (so does President Biden) so why not this other stuff? And where do we get these tissues for research if babies aren’t aborted?
    How could a few years difference make it less moral?

  5. Given the speed of the administration’s response to the ruling in Texas, I can’t help believing that those around him knew what was coming and the response was all set to go and the president is just reading what has been put in front of him – without really knowing what he is talking about.

  6. God Bless Texas and our governor Greg Abbott. He may indeed die politically, crucified by the Liberal Media, but I know he is this state’s most faithful servant. To little guy Texans like myself, just trying tor raise a good Christian family, Abbott’s service to God first means so much.

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