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24 attorneys general file amicus brief to support Biden administration's effort to block Texas abortion law

The new law went into effect Sept. 1.

AUSTIN, Texas — Twenty-four attorneys general have filed an amicus brief in support of the Joe Biden administration's effort to block Texas' restrictive abortion law.

The new law, which went into effect Sept. 1, blocks abortions when cardiac activity can be detected in a fetus, which is typically at six weeks and before many women even know they're pregnant. It's the most restrictive abortion ban since the passing of Roe v. Wade in 1973.

The amicus brief, filed by Massachusetts' attorney general in addition to 23 other Democratic attorneys general, was filed Sept. 15. The attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawai'i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and North Carolina also joined in on the amicus brief.

The attorneys general echoed what President Biden has said about Texas' new law: That it's a direct contradiction to a precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Today, virtually no one can obtain an abortion in Texas,” the brief said. “In order to obtain abortion care, patients now have to travel out-of-state, which makes abortion for many people too difficult, too time-intensive, and too costly.”

The Justice Department under the Biden administration earlier filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texas, asking a federal judge to declare that the law is invalid, “to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.” 

“The act is clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that no state can deprive individuals of their constitutional rights through a legislative scheme specifically designed to prevent the vindication of those rights.”  

Supporters of the new anti-abortion law, like nonprofit Texas Right To Life, said it will save lives. Senior Legislative Associate for Texas Right To Life Rebecca Parma said they think a halt will be granted, but the anti-abortion law will stand in the long run.

"This request for an emergency order isn't surprising and it isn't adding no new arguments to the lawsuit or bringing a new lawsuit," said Parma. "It just highlights the Biden administration's desperate attempt to as quickly as possible, by any means necessary, stop this lifesaving law."

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