Biden Administration Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Block Texas' Heartbeat Abortion Law

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Wednesday, October 20, 2021
heartbeat, Idaho's governor signs fetal heartbeat bill

Biden Administration Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Block Texas' Heartbeat Abortion Law

The Biden administration is calling on the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court's decision to allow the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, to stay in effect.

On Monday, Acting U.S. Solicitor General Brian Fletcher filed a brief asking the nation's high court to rescind the "stay of [the] preliminary injunction issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit" that allows the Texas Heartbeat Act, also known as Senate Bill 8, to remain in effect.

He contended that "Texas 'delegated enforcement' of the law 'to the populace at large' in a system of private bounties" in order to "avoid pre-enforcement suits against state officials."

Fletcher cited the 1992 Supreme Court ruling of Planned Parenthood v. Casey as proof that "Texas has, in short, successfully nullified this Court's decision within its borders." The ruling, which was made almost 30 years ago, maintained that "a State may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability."

As reported by The Christian Post, "viability" has to do with the baby's capacity to survive outside its mother's womb.

"The United States has authority to seek equitable relief to protect its sovereign interests — including its interest in the supremacy of federal law and the availability of the mechanisms for judicial review that Congress and this Court have long deemed essential to protect constitutional rights," Fletcher asserted.

He argued that keeping the Texas Heartbeat Act in effect "would irreparably harm those interests and perpetuate the ongoing irreparable injury to the thousands of Texas women who are being denied their constitutional rights."

Additionally, the legislation "affects 'the availability of abortion-related services in the national market' by forcing women to travel to clinics in other states, burdening 'the availability of abortion services' in neighboring jurisdictions," the brief continued.

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled against barring the Texas Heartbeat Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbot on May 1 and went into effect on Sept. 1. On Oct. 6, a district court judge issued a temporary restraining order on the pro-life law. Two days later, however, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay after Texas' Attorney General filed an appeal.

According to Reuters, the Supreme Court asked Texas officials to respond to the Justice Department's request by midday on Thursday.

Photo courtesy: Public Domain Pictures/Pixabay

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.