Court blocks attempt by former US vice president to block new abortion law

US Vice President Joe Biden. According to a federal judge in Texas, former vice president Joe Biden cannot exercise his constitutional authority by attempting to prevent a law from being enforced because the attempts…

Court blocks attempt by former US vice president to block new abortion law

US Vice President Joe Biden.

According to a federal judge in Texas, former vice president Joe Biden cannot exercise his constitutional authority by attempting to prevent a law from being enforced because the attempts to do so are an effort by the state of Texas to regulate a medical practice “without evidence that medical costs will rise by appreciable amounts or that safer alternatives are difficult or impossible to find”.

US judge Lee Yeakel had previously ruled that the then vice president’s attempt to overturn a 2016 abortion law signed by Texas governor Greg Abbott were “unconstitutional”. But that ruling was overturned in January in a 5-4 decision of the US Supreme Court.

In a setback for Mr Biden, US District Judge Lee Yeakel has upheld the lower court’s decision to refuse to issue a permanent injunction halting the enforcement of the law.

In February, Mr Biden phoned Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and asked him to respect the Supreme Court’s ruling in their unsuccessful campaign to overturn a state abortion law. In a subsequent hearing in April, Mr Biden called again for a temporary order stopping the implementation of the new law until the courts could study the facts.

Mr Biden said the country needed “to close the doors to abortion wherever it occurs.”

The 2016 law required women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion and was met with protests and court challenges.

The new law also requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

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