On Thursday, both President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to fight Texas’ new six-week abortion ban, which was left to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court. Led by Republicans and signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in May, the ‘Texas Senate Bill 8’ outlaws abortions when a heartbeat is detectable, which is about six weeks into a pregnancy. It will deny the procedure to about 85% of patients who seek it in the state. In addition, the ban is enforced by members of the public who are able to sue anyone who provides or is involved in aiding and performing abortions barred by SB8, which includes anyone who drives a patient to the procedure.
Late Wednesday, the Supreme Court voted against an emergency petition from abortion providers and advocates to block the law. Pelosi said in a statement on Thursday: “SB8 unleashes one of the most disturbing, unprecedented and far-reaching assaults on healthcare providers — and on anyone who helps a woman, in any way, access an abortion — by creating a vigilante bounty system that will have a chilling effect on the provision of any reproductive health care services. This provision is a cynical, backdoor attempt by partisan lawmakers to evade the Constitution and the law to destroy not only a woman’s right to healthcare but potentially any right or protection that partisan lawmakers target.”
President Biden also strongly condemned the court’s decision, calling it an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights,” adding, “It unleashes unconstitutional chaos and empowers self-anointed enforcers to have devastating impacts. This law is so extreme it does not even allow for exceptions in the case of rape or incest.”
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