DOJ asks court to halt Texas abortion ban during appeal

DOJ asks court to halt Texas abortion ban during appeal
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday asked a court to halt Texas's new abortion ban while its challenge to the state law is appealed. 

In a filing to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday, the DOJ argued that allowing the bill to stay in effect would cause "substantial harm to the United States' sovereign interests and would disserve the public interest."

“If Texas’s scheme is permissible, no constitutional right is safe from state-sanctioned sabotage of this kind,” the DOJ reportedly told the court.

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The court late last week allowed the ban to be reinstated, making abortions in Texas illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Under the state bill, which went into effect in September, most abortions were banned after about six weeks, a time in which many people may not know they are pregnant. 

Last week, a federal judge blocked the controversial Texas law, ruling that "a person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established."

Texas officials then appealed the order in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which revived the law on Friday.

"It is ordered that Appellant’s emergency motion to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal is temporarily held in abeyance pending further order by this motions panel," the court stated in Friday's ruling.

Updated at 8:25 a.m.