According to the US Justice Department, clinics performing abortions in Texas will be protected, despite the state’s close to a total ban on voluntary termination of pregnancies.
Clinics and reproductive health centers, as well as patients, will be provided with support from federal law enforcement in case they will be “attacked”, the department says.
Texas passed a new law that bans terminating pregnancies as early as six weeks and it took effect last week. This law, known as SB8, has been the subject of many criticisms to legislation by many doctors and women’s rights groups.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the “Heartbeat Act” into law last May.
Considered as one of the country’s most restrictive laws, this law prohibits terminating pregnancies after foetal heartbeat is detected, a term by many anti-abortion advocates. Many medical practitioners consider this as confusing.
The law also provides the right to file a case against doctors performing the abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy.
Recommended Read: Should Biden Send ‘Abortion Trucks’ to Texas?
Since the Supreme Court has not answered the abortion providers’ emergency appeal, the law has come into force.
Merrick Garland, US Attorney General has reiterated in his statement on Monday that
violence will not be condoned. “We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction, or property damage in violation of the FACE Act,” he said.
The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances or FACE Act of 1994 forbids any form of threat or violence against anyone who wants to acquire services relating to reproductive health including abortion.
Mr. Garland has added in his statement that FACE will be enforced by his department while they tackle other ways to confront Texas SB8 to continue to provide constitutional rights protection to women or any other persons.
Where do Americans stand on abortion rights?
Abortion has continued to be a controversial social issue in the country. But, according to Pew Research Center, six out of 10 Americans agree on the legality of abortion for certain or all cases.
This rate has stayed relatively the same these past twenty years but shows a partisan division since Republicans only show 35% support on this stance.
Last April, a poll showed nearly half of the voters of conservative Texas agree on prohibiting abortions beyond the six-week-point.