Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal judge Wednesday to throw out the Biden administration’s lawsuit against his state’s life-saving new heartbeat law.
Ahead of a court hearing Friday, Paxton said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice do not have the authority to sue in the matter, Bloomberg Politics reports.
Paxton told U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman that Congress has “repeatedly refused to create a broader cause of action” for the government to sue “to enforce a constitutional right to abortion,” and urged Pitman to reject the federal government’s lawsuit.
The Texas heartbeat law went into effect Sept. 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Unique from other states, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law and those who help them.
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Texas is the first state to be allowed to enforce a heartbeat law, and pro-life leaders estimate as many as 2,700 babies have been saved from abortion so far.
However, the Biden administration and abortion facilities have filed multiple lawsuits to stop the law. Two weeks ago, Garland’s office asked Pitman to immediately block enforcement of the law, but the judge scheduled a hearing for Oct. 1 instead.
Garland is seeking a temporary restraining order to temporarily block the law until the courts decide whether it is constitutional, according to Bloomberg. The Department of Justice argues that the law is harming women because many cannot get abortions in Texas right now.
But Paxton said the federal government’s case is unfair to private citizens who, under the law, may sue abortionists for aborting unborn babies with beating hearts.
“The court cannot decide that absent third parties are subject to an injunction without letting them be heard,” he said.
Paxton said the state is not tasked with enforcing the law, private citizens are, so the Biden administration has no case against the state, according to The Washington Post.
However, the Biden administration argues that private citizens are really “state actors” under the law; therefore, the court can block them from enforcing it, the report states.
Pitman, an appointee of pro-abortion President Barack Obama, is assigned to the case.
CNN pointed out that even if Pitman does grant the federal government’s request for a preliminary injunction, some abortion facilities may not start aborting unborn babies again right away.
According to the report: “… under the law, a clinic could still be liable if it performed an abortion prohibited by the law while the court’s order was in effect, if that same order was later reversed by a higher court.”
The Biden administration has taken multiple actions to thwart Texas’s efforts to save unborn babies from abortion. Along with the lawsuit, it also set aside $10 million – taxpayers’ money – to provide grants to the abortion industry in Texas and make additional Title X family planning funds available to them.
In 2020, about 54,000 unborn babies were aborted in Texas, and about 85 percent happened after six weeks of pregnancy, according to state health statistics.
While abortion activists say some women are traveling to other states for abortions, they admit that others are having their babies instead.
Meanwhile, pro-life advocates are reaching out to pregnant women across Texas with compassion and understanding, offering resources and emotional support to help them and their babies. Earlier this year, state lawmakers increased support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies.
About a dozen states have passed heartbeat laws to protect unborn babies from abortion, but Texas is the first to be allowed to enforce its law. Whether the law will remain in effect or ultimately be upheld as constitutional in court remains uncertain, but pro-life leaders are hopeful now that the U.S. Supreme Court has a conservative majority.