A federal judge on Wednesday scheduled an Oct. 1 hearing to consider the merits of a Department of Justice bid to block Texas’ new abortion restriction, which effectively bans the procedure in almost all cases after about the sixth week of pregnancy.
According to The Hill, the scheduling comes a day after the DOJ filed an emergency motion, aiming to stop enforcement because it denies women their “constitutional rights.”
Rather than act on the call to freeze the law, The Hill said, federal District Judge Robert L. Pitman will hear arguments at the Lone Star State’s request. The news outlet cited reporting by The Texas Tribune.
The Hill further said Texas has until Sept. 29 to make its arguments in favor of the law, which some pro-abortion advocates fear sets the stage for an eventual overturning of the landmark case Roe v. Wade.
The DOJ then has until a few days later, on Oct. 1, to respond to those arguments.
Recently, a divided U.S. Supreme Court chose not to block the Texas law. That law says abortions are illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected. This usually occurs around the six-week mark, a fact seized upon by critics who say most women don’t even know they’re actually pregnant this soon.
But what distinguishes the Texas law from other abortion laws is a different element. It offers public citizens the promise of a reward — $10,000 — for filing suit against people suspected of aiding a woman in obtaining an abortion. The money is for each successful suit.