The Texas law banning abortion after six weeks, before many women even know they’re pregnant, and deputizing every controlling father, abusive ex, or nosy stranger in the state to enforce it, demands an assertive response by Democrats. On Friday, President Joe Biden suggested he understands that.
“The most pernicious thing about the Texas law, it sort of creates a vigilante system where people get rewards to go out [and enforce it],” Biden said a day after promising a “whole-of-government effort to respond to this decision.” He continued, “It just seems, I know this sounds ridiculous, almost un-American.”
Okay, but what’s he going to do?
”I was told that there are possibilities within the existing law, to have the Justice Department look and see whether are there things that can be done, that can limit the independent action of individuals and enforcing a state law,” Biden said. “I don’t know enough to give you an answer yet.”
That would be a start, if it’s for real and happens quickly. With the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority engaging in unsigned, sketchy shadow docket decision-making “which every day becomes more un-reasoned, inconsistent, and impossible to defend,” as Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissent, there is no time to wait for a commission or for the House to get through its recess and mosey back to Washington, D.C., or for a committee hearing.
Attorney General Merrick Garland needs to tap hitherto unseen levels of aggressive, decisive action on this one. Because right now there are women in Texas who know that continuing a pregnancy would be personally disastrous for them—and they are out of options if they have known they were pregnant for more than a few days and don’t have the money and time to go out of state.
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