The US Justice Department is exploring options to challenge the Texas law that bans most abortions in the state, and will not tolerate violence against anyone who is trying to obtain an abortion in the Lone Star state.
Citing a federal law known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the Justice Department would "protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services" under law.
"The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction, or property damage in violation of the FACE Act," the Associated Press quoted Garland as saying.
Garland also informed that federal prosecutors will challenge the Texas state law and are still urgently exploring the options to do so. He said the Justice Department would enforce the federal law "in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion," the Associated Press reported.
The federal law, commonly known as the FACE Act, outlaws physically obstructing or using the threat of force to intimidate or interfere with a person seeking reproductive health services. The law also prohibits damaging property at abortion clinics and other reproductive health centers.
According to the new abortion law in Texas, there can be no abortions once medical professionals detect cardiac activity. The heartbeat usually starts around six weeks and according to experts, some women do not even get to know if they are pregnant. Many states have been blocked by courts from imposing similar restrictions. The Texas law is different from other such restrictions because it will not be enforced by the state but private citizens through lawsuits.