Biden administration asks federal court to block enforcement of Texas abortion ban

The Biden administration has formally asked a federal judge to block enforcement of a new Texas law that effectively bans almost all abortions in the state under a novel legal design that opponents say is intended to thwart court challenge.

The US Justice Department’s 45-page emergency motion seeks a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction lifting the abortion ban while its lawsuit challenging the statute as unconstitutional proceeds through the courts.

The Republican-backed law forbids abortions performed once cardiac activity has been detected in the embryo, which typically start at six weeks of gestation, before many women even realise they are pregnant.