WASHINGTON — The controversial new Texas abortion law could yet be “destroyed” by the Supreme Court, Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said on Sunday.
The law, known as Senate Bill 8, went into effect at midnight on Wednesday, after the Supreme Court did not act to block it. Abortion rights advocates say the measure is the most restrictive anti-abortion law in years, with provisions that amount to a near-total ban on abortion in the state.
If the law “is as terrible as people say it is, it will be destroyed by the Supreme Court, but to act like this is an assault upon Roe v. Wade is again something that the president is doing I think to distract from other issues,” Cassidy, who opposes abortion, said on ABC’s This Week.
The lack of action by the nation’s high court deals a blow to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationally, essentially legalizing the law’s language to incentivize private litigation to cripple abortion care and support services.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said he was troubled by aspects of the law. “I’m pro-life, but what I don’t like to see is this idea of every citizen being able to tattle, sue an Uber driver, as you said, be deputized to enforce this abortion law,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that the debate over abortion was “one that that we should have that’s open and not just opening people up to be sued for any bit part in that process.”
Since the ruling, activists who support abortion rights and the Biden administration have been vocal in their opposition to the measure. Biden said that Texas’ restrictive new abortion law violates the Constitution and pledged to “protect and defend” abortion rights.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., renewed her call for liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire “sooner rather than later.”
The Supreme Court’s decision was made in a 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts dissenting with liberal justices Elena Kagan, Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Each justice wrote a separate opinion against the majority decision.
“If this decision doesn’t cry out for that, I don’t know what does,” said Klobuchar, on CNN’s State of the Union.
In a statement last week, Biden said he was directing the Office of the White House Counsel and his Gender Policy Council to involve the Health and Human Services Department and the Justice Department to evaluate what “legal tools we have to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas’ bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties.”
On Sunday, White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond reiterated Biden’s stance and said the administration is doing “everything we can to try to remedy that situation for the people in Texas.”
“It is just a cruel and destructive law on the rights of women,” said Richmond on ABC’s This Week.
Biden is currently dealing with a number of other pressing issues, including Hurricane Ida, which struck Louisiana, on Aug. 29 as a Category 4 hurricane, and the ongoing fall out from the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.