Washington – NS United States Department of Justice It said Monday that it will not tolerate acts of violence against anyone trying to undergo a pregnancy termination process in Texas as federal officials explore options to challenge a new state law that bans most abortions. .
Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the Department “Will protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services” Under a federal law for free access to clinics.
Garland said in a statement that federal prosecutors are urgently exploring options to challenge the Texas law. She added that the Justice Department will “enforce federal law to protect the constitutional rights of women and others, including access to abortion.”
Federal law prohibits physically obstructing or using threats of force to intimidate or interfere with a person seeking reproductive health services. The law also prohibits damage to property in abortion clinics and other reproductive health centers.
New Texas law prohibits abortions when doctors detect a fetal heartbeat, which usually occurs at six weeks’ gestation, before many women realize they are pregnant. Courts have barred other states from imposing similar sanctions, but Texas law is different because it enforces citizens through lawsuits rather than going to criminal prosecutors.
Justice Department officials have also been in contact with Texas federal prosecutors and field offices of the state FBI to discuss implementation of the federal provisions.
“The department will provide assistance from federal officials when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack,” Garland said. “We will not tolerate violence against people who seek to receive or provide reproductive health services, or cause physical handicap or damage to property that violates” federal law.