US President Joe Biden has launched a “whole-of-government” response to oppose a new law in Texas that bans most abortions.
He called the Supreme Court’s decision not to block the law an “unprecedented assault” on women’s rights. Any individual now has the right to sue anyone involved with providing or facilitating an abortion past six weeks of pregnancy.
This is before many women know they have conceived. Rights groups had asked the Supreme Court to block the law, but it refused following a 5-4 vote.The majority said their decision was not based on any conclusion about whether the Texas law was constitutional or not, and that the door remained open for legal challenges.
But the president said that by allowing the law to stand, the court had unleashed “unconstitutional chaos”.
“The highest court of our land will allow millions in Texas in need of critical reproductive care to suffer while courts sift through procedural complexities,” he said.
Mr Biden said he had asked the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to see what steps the national government could take to “insulate women and providers”, but did not provide any further details. He said the law violated the landmark Roe v Wade case in 1973, in which the Supreme Court legalised abortion across the US, ruling that women have an unfettered constitutional right to the procedure during their first trimester (12 weeks) of pregnancy.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki earlier told reporters that the president had long wanted to see the “codification” of Roe v Wade – which would mean Congress voting to make the precedent federal law. Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott has said his state will “always defend the right to life.
Source: BBC News