US Attorney General Merrick Garland issues statement on Texas abortion law, saying Justice Department ‘will not tolerate violence’

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a statement Monday on Texas’ new abortion law that said violence against women will not be tolerated.

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According to Garland, the Justice Department is exploring “all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion.”

“The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services,” Garland said. “It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services.”

Garland said the Department of Justice has obtained many remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it became a law in 1994 and vowed to continue.

“The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack,” Garland said.

According to Garland, the DOJ has “reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities.”

“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,” said Garland.

Read the full statement:

“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act, 18 U.S.C. § 248. The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services. It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services. The department has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now. The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities. 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.”


About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.