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FFRF commends DOJ move against Texas abortion ban

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is cheering the news that the U.S. Department of Justice is suing the state of Texas over its draconian, dystopian abortion prohibition that deputizes everyone as bounty hunters.

“May we say ‘Hallelujah,’” remarks FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the Texas lawsuit at a press conference.

“The United States therefore seeks a declaratory judgment that SB 8 [the Texas law] is invalid under the Supremacy Clause and the 14th Amendment, is pre-empted by federal law, and violates the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity,” states the DOJ complaint. “The United States also seeks an order preliminarily and permanently enjoining the state of Texas, including its officers, employees, and agents, including private parties who would bring suit under the law, from implementing or enforcing SB 8.”

FFRF has been at the forefront of raising the alarm about this awful measure. FFRF statements came down against the law going into effect and the Supreme Court’s eventual decision. We’ve also mobilized members to call on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and to expand the courts — the only real solution. FFRF’s legal team has been working to educate the public on the bill and court expansion with a number of highly placed op-eds, blogs, and a fascinating episode of “Ask An Atheist” with a leading scholar.

“Nintey-nine percent of FFRF members support the right to choose,” says FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert, “precisely because this is a state/church issue. The end of reproductive justice is an attempt to legislate biblical law into our secular law. Of course, FFRF is going to do all it can to stop that.” 

Markert notes that some arguments in the lawsuit are novel and interesting: “The lawsuit appears to use Texas’ refusal to exempt rape and incest in the original law as a way to argue that it impedes federal agencies from doing their job and makes them liable for the $10,000 bounty, leading to the novel intergovernmental immunity argument that the DOJ has asserted in its complaint.” 

Texas cartoon by Steve Benson