Daily US Times: The US Justice Department says it will protect Texas’ abortion clinics. The state is a near-total ban on voluntary pregnancy terminations.
The department said in a statement that it would “provide support from federal law enforcement” when a reproductive health centre, clinic or patient was “under attack”.
A new abortion law in Texas, one of the most restrictive in the country, bans abortions from as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
Women’s rights groups and doctors have criticised the abortion law in the state, known as SB8, that took effect last week.
In May, the so-called “Heartbeat Act” was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican.
The law bans abortions after the detection of what anti-abortion campaigners call a foetal heartbeat, something medical authorities say is misleading.
The legislation also gives any individual the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion past the six-week point.
It took effect after the Supreme Court didn’t respond to an emergency appeal by abortion providers.
On Monday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement: “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 FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act took effect in 1994 and it prohibits any form of threatening or violent behaviour towards anyone obtaining reproductive health services, typically an abortion.