Earlier this month, the state of Texas shocked the country (and the world) with news of its updated abortion laws. Under them, women are not permitted to terminate a pregnancy after 6 weeks - meaning many women would not even know they were pregnant before their abortion would become illegal.
The archaic policy was widely decried and now the Department of Justice is taking action...
The Justice Department is lodging a constitutional challenge against Texas' new law.
The suit was announced by Attorney General, Merrick Garland. on Thursday evening, just over a week after Texas passed the SB 8 law. He filed the suit in federal district court in Austin.
"The act is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent," Garland said, as per NPR.
"Those precedents hold, in the words of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that 'regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.'"
Garland claimed the Department of Justice has "authority and responsibility" to prevent states from depriving their citizens of their constitutional rights.
He also claims SB 8 interferes with the rights of workers in the abortion access sector, such as federal funding for insurance coverage for abortion services
"The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack," Garland stated earlier this week, as per Buzzfeed.
However, not everyone believes this lawsuit will be a success.
"Good luck. They don't have any jurisdiction over the state," wrote one Facebook commenter.
Another agreed, adding: "They don't have a valid case ... Just wasting tax dollars trying to fight the inevitable.. that will result in the same outcome...The ban is here to stay."
On the other hand, many are in support of this legal action.
"This is backward. In every single developed country in the world women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies," a Facebook commenter pointed out.
Another, rather more radically, suggested: "Hear me out: mandatory vasectomies. Millions of lives are saved from evil, murderous socks every night. And it's a reversible procedure. No more abortions are needed! Win-win."
What do you make of the abortion ban?