Biden rips ‘extreme’ new Texas abortion law
President Biden said on Wednesday the Texas law that went into effect overnight banning abortions at six weeks “blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade,” adding that it will “significantly impair” women’s access to health care.
“Today, Texas law SB8 went into effect. This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century,” Biden said in a statement. “The Texas law will significantly impair women’s access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes.”
The law prohibits virtually all abortions after a heartbeat is detected and allows most citizens to file lawsuits against abortion providers if they think the provider infringed on the policy.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the controversial legislation, referred to as a “fetal heartbeat bill,” in May.
The president specifically criticized its provision that allows private citizens to bring forward lawsuits.
“Outrageously, it deputizes private citizens to bring lawsuits against anyone who they believe has helped another person get an abortion, which might even include family members, health care workers, front desk staff at a health care clinic, or strangers with no connection to the individual,” Biden said.
He also vowed that his administration will work to protect Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.
“My administration is deeply committed to the constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly five decades ago and will protect and defend that right,” he said.
The law, which went into effect after the Supreme Court did not block it, is the first six-week ban that has been allowed to go into effect. It makes exceptions for medical emergencies.
Abortion providers had pleaded with the Supreme Court to block the law and filed a request on Monday to Justice Samuel Alito, contending to the law violates Roe v. Wade.
The Texas state House has also advanced legislation to restrict access to abortion-inducing medication. About a dozen other states have tried to ban early pregnancy abortions but have been blocked.