Yesterday, Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department will continue to explore ways to fight Texas’ new anti-abortion law while protecting the safety of those seeking abortions in the state.
“We will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act,” says Garland.
According to Huffpost, the FACE Act, or Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, is a federal law enacted in 1994 that bans physically obstructing or using the threat of force to injure, intimidate or interfere with a person seeking reproductive health services. The law also prohibits intentional property damage at abortion clinics and other reproductive health centers.
“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,” Garland said.
This move comes just days after the Supreme Court refused to block a Texas abortion statute that bans the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. The court’s action stands as the most serious threat to Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling establishing a right to abortion, in nearly 50 years, reports The Washington Post.
President Joe Biden has criticized the Supreme Court’s decision saying their “overnight ruling is an unprecedented assault on constitutional rights and requires an immediate response.”
The Supreme Court’s overnight ruling is an unprecedented assault on constitutional rights and requires an immediate response.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 2, 2021
We will launch a whole-of-government effort to respond, looking at what steps we can take to ensure that Texans have access to safe and legal abortions.
But the federal government only has so much power in circumstances like these.
Ironically, Merrick Garland would have been a supreme court justice if Barack Obama had been able to get his nomination through when he was president, according to The Guardian.