DOJ says it’ll protect abortion rights in Texas, but it hasn’t challenged the state’s new law

Protestors march from City Hall to the federal courthouse in protest of the new state abortion ban in Houston, Texas on September 5, 2021. Photo by Reginald Mathalone/NurPhoto.

Texas’ restrictive new abortion law has been in effect for nearly a week. It bans the procedure after six weeks, before most women know they’re pregnant. The law also empowers private citizens to enforce the ban through lawsuits and offers a $10,000 reward if they succeed. But on Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would protect women who seek an abortion in Texas — though it stopped short of challenging the law directly.

Also, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a new bill into law today that restricts early voting by banning drive-through voting. It also limits how many vote-by-mail applications are sent, and gives further protections to partisan poll watchers.