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Biden Justice Department plans to sue over Texas' restrictive abortion law, reports say

Merrick Garland
Posted at 12:22 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 14:30:53-04

The Biden administration is expected to file a lawsuit Thursday challenging the legality of a new Texas law that severely limits abortion access in the state, ABC News and NBC News report.

The Texas law makes abortions illegal after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which occurs at about six weeks. At that point — just two weeks after a missed menstrual period — many women aren't even aware that they're pregnant.

The law also does not make exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or abortion.

In addition, the law incentivizes private citizens to file suit against anyone who may have assisted in an illegal abortion — be it a doctor, a staff member at a clinic that provides abortions or a rideshare worker who drove a woman to the clinic. Those who successfully sue can be awarded $10,000 at the expense of the defendant.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the Department of Justice would "protect" the rights of women seeking abortions across the country.

Garland is expected to address the law in remarks at 2:30 p.m. ET.

This story is breaking and will be updated.